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HOLY WEEK BASKET

Place a piece of bread, a bowl, and a towel in your basket.

SCRIPTURE

Read John 13:1-5 and Matthew 26:26-29.

DEVOTIONS

            On Thursday, Jesus memorably connected the old and new covenants.  The first three gospels have abbreviated versions of that evening; John has five chapters (13-17).  In John’s gospel, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, a task usually not even required of a Jewish slave – it was done by a Gentile.

            Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus’ “last supper” – more than likely a Passover Seder.  The Seder is all about remembering and passing on to the next generation the great stories of God’s salvation.  Why is this night different from all the others?  Why do we eat only unleavened bread?  Why do we eat bitter herbs?  Why do we have special ceremonies?  These questions, often posed by children, allow the adults to explain again the story of the exodus from Egypt.

            It was during such a meal that Jesus took a piece of that unleavened bread, broke it, and said, “This is my body, broken for you.”  His words must have startled them.

            During the drinking of the third cup in the Seder, the “cup of redemption,” Jesus shocked them again.  “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”

            Jesus was the Passover Lamb, an eternal link between the old covenant under Moses and the new covenant of salvation through his death and resurrection.

 

PRAYER

            Lord Jesus, we are so amazed and humbled.  You knew what was coming, and you freely offered yourself on our behalf.  We worship you, we love you, and we renew our vows to follow you.  Have mercy on us.  Amen.

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