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Holy Thursday - The Passover Supper

Posted on April 14, 2022 at 10:40 AM

Have you ever studied the Passover as described in the Old Testament? I have done it a few times now, and I have found the parallels to Jesus’ Holy Week to be very insightful.

 

The Passover ritual is described in detail in Exodus 12. The gist of this passage is that the Israelites were first to procure an unblemished male lamb. In a specified manner they were to sacrifice it, prepare it and eat the flesh, and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts so the Angel of the Lord would pass over their homes while the Egyptian first-born males were killed. The Israelites were to repeat this ritual every year to remember how the Lord had saved them, as part of their covenant with God.

 

In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of his part in the salvation covenant: “I am the living bread come down from heaven, if anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51) He is telling the people what he will do for them.

 

Then on Holy Thursday, it is fulfilled. Jesus reenacted the Passover supper with his disciples. And during it, he did something amazing. “During the meal he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. ‘Take this,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ He likewise took a cup, gave thanks and passed it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them: ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant to be poured out on behalf of many.’ (Mark 14:22-25) Then he asked the disciples to do this in remembrance of him. In this way, Jesus explained that He is the new Lamb (a perfect, unblemished male), and that we are to partake in this sacrifice to remember that he has come to save us.

 

Jesus is telling us that the Eucharist is not merely a symbol – it is indeed the living flesh and blood of Jesus. The Bible in a Year reflection for Day 100 confirms this, stating: ‘For over 1500 years, every Christian believed in the Eucharist as the true Body and Blood of Christ. If this teaching is wrong, then every Christian was guilty of idolatry, and Catholics and Orthodox Christians are guilty of idolatry today. Recall how quickly God put a stop to the worship of the golden calf on Mount Sinai. Would God have allowed Christians to idolatrously worship mere bread and wine from the beginning of the Church?”

 

Wow. When I spend my time in Holy Week remembering the words of Jesus on that Holy Thursday, I am in awe of the great gift he has given to us. His Body. His Blood. The Holy Sacrifice of each and every Mass truly is that partaking in the Passover of Jesus, and I am encouraged to participate in Mass and eat his flesh as often as I can.

 

If possible, I encourage you to attend a Holy Thursday service to partake in this blessed ritual. If you cannot attend a service in person, see if a local church may be livestreaming their service and you could watch. I also encourage you to spend some time in Adoration in front of the Tabernacle in your church this weekend. Take some time to be blessed by this amazing gift that Jesus is giving to you.

 

Have a blessed Holy Thursday!

Faye

© 2022 Reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

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