Today is Maundy Thursday, the celebration of the last Passover meal that Jesus shared with His disciples before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Not all Christian denominations hold services on this Holy day, but I am so glad that the Lutheran church I attend does. The Maundy Thursday service is one of my favorite services of the whole year, topped only by Easter and Christmas Eve services. I also appreciate the Good Friday service, but it is much more somber.
The last supper is when Jesus instituted the sacrament of communion, the breaking of bread — His body broken for us — and the sharing of wine — His blood shed for us — all for the forgiveness of our sins. During this last Passover meal, Jesus replaced the old covenant, which required continual animal sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, with the new covenant of His own sacrifice as the Lamb of God, which is sufficient for the forgiveness of all sin for those who repent and believe.
The Last Supper
The hour was late
His time was near
Emmanuel would be a sacrifice dear
Lamb for the Passover
All the disciples partake
Soon a new covenant
The Savior would make
Setting the table in the
Upper room for the feast
Prepared in advance His last
Passover meal; He broke bread without yeast
E‘er you eat the bread and drink the wine
Remember Him, who for you became least
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
Luke 22:19-20 (NIV).