One last meal!
There is the well-known tradition of giving a death row inmate one last meal before they are executed. The meal is offered, and it is provided for the inmate, as is requested by them. This seems to be a rather ridiculous practice considering what the final outcome will be for the diner after finishing the selected food.
Maundy Thursday gives us the opportunity to remember another final meal for a person who would eventually be put to death. The big difference is that this particular person was the one who was actually providing this unique and special meal. In Luke 22:14-16, we see Jesus with His disciples eating the Passover Meal, but this is also when He institutes another meal “The Lord’s Supper”. Jesus said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Then Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise, He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”. This is the ultimate meal which is not merely for the feeding of the body but is for the salvation of the soul. Jesus was both the receiver and the provider of this most precious food.
This blessed meal is something you and I, as Christians and children of God, get to partake of on a regular basis. Jesus may have originally offered it as His final meal before He was put to death on a cross. But this was also a beautiful gift to us, so we might be able to continue to celebrate together as His disciples this sacred moment. Today, you and I are able to experience the joyous blessings of sharing in this holy food, just as those early followers did. Jesus still calls us in 2022 to come eat and drink of His body and blood in with and under the bread and wine. Let us never take this invitation for granted, nor pass up this great opportunity to be fed by our Lord and Savior Jesus within His Holy Supper. A blessed Maundy Thursday to each of you! Pastor McCarty