A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Friday, March 27, 2009

Holy Week Reflections - Thursday of Holy Week

For the season of Lent, my Thursday morning bible study has been focusing on the book, "Christians at the Cross," by New Testament bible scholar, Tom Wright. Yesterday, they looked at Maundy Thursday of Holy Week. The scripture texts for Maundy Thursday are Exodus 12:1-14 (the Exodus/Passover story) & John 13:1-17, 31b-35 (Jesus' Passover Meal.)

Here are the highlights regarding Maundy Thursday as it relates to Tom Wright's book:
  • Remember, if we compare the reading of scripture to harmony parts, the Old Testament would be the bass part because it tells the story of God's desire to rescue the world from sin and death. Like the bass part of a song, this story undergirds the whole biblical narrative and Jesus' life and ministry should be seen within this context.
  • Jesus used a meal (the annual Jewish Passover Meal) to help interpret how his death would bring fulfillment of the bass part of the Old Testament (God's desire to rescue the world.) Passover/Red Sea/Deliverance are intimately woven throughout the Passover meal.
  • Every time we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we are announcing to the world that the principalities and powers that keep people enslaved have been defeated by Jesus because of his death on the cross.
  • "Maundy" is a Latin word which means "commandment" and it reminds us that at the Last Supper, Jesus commanded his disciples (and us!) to love one another. We are to extend God's love to the people of our community and world so that they will know the good news that through Jesus, we have been rescued from sin and death.
  • As we offer God's healing love to others, the pain and hurt might not happen overnight, but steadily and most assuredly, the healing will come.

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