Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:26-28
It is a dubious distinction. A truck bomb containing two tons of explosives was detonated in the Iraqi town of Tal-Afar. The bomb killed 152 people and wounded 347. The blast destroyed over 100 homes and left a crater 75 feet (23 meters) wide.
It was the deadliest bomb in the four years of fighting in that tortured country.
If anyone ever wonders whether the world needs a Savior, all they need to do is look at the hatred of the suicide bombers who are willing to give their lives to take the lives of the innocent. If anyone ever wonders about the value of the Savior’s sacrifice, all they need to do is read the daily news reports which come out of that country and so many others.
Tonight, Maundy Thursday, many Christians will go to the Lord’s Supper. There, surrounded by people who have been redeemed by the Savior, they will confess their sins and hear the called Servant-of-the-Word offer Jesus’ blood-bought forgiveness.
Then, at the Lord’s table, the pastor will repeat the words of the new Covenant first spoken by our Redeemer so many centuries ago: THIS IS MY BODY. THIS IS MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR MANY FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.
Today, as you prepare yourself for this Meal of Life, spend some time pondering the Redeemer’s words. Think about the wonderful gift that He gives to you and all who will believe in the completeness of His work. They are wonderful, giving words: My Body, My Blood, given for you. In a world where people are offering up their lives to steal and rob the life from others, we have a Savior who gave Himself up so all who believe in Him might be forgiven.
Tomorrow is Good Friday, and we will once again hear that Jesus’ sacrifice was a willing and voluntary offering for us. It was not the nails that kept Him on the cross. It was His love. At any time, the Savior could have accepted the challenge of the unsaved thief and come down from the accursed tree. That, however, was not why Jesus had been born, died, lived, and rose. Jesus came to voluntarily give His life as a ransom. Ponder His words. “I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10: 17b-18a) Then, having remembered His commitment to you, give thanks for Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, accept my deepest thanks that You gave Your Body and Blood so that I might be forgiven of my sin and freed from the condemnation of the law. At Your Supper and always may I rejoice in Your sacrifice which saves and offers salvation. In Your name. Amen.