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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Week--the Significance of 'Maundy Thursday'

Holy Week began this past Sunday with 'Palm Sunday,' which commemorates the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem during which throngs of people came to greet Him, placing palm branches in the path before Him in a display of honor..

During the remainder of the week, Christ laid it on the line for his opposition, referring to corrupt Sanhedrin, Pharisees, and scribes as 'snakes' and 'hypocrites.'  Needless to say this only poured fuel on the fire as these groups moved against Him, appealing to the Roman government to do something about this man who spoke the plain truth.

Before the end of the week, the Roman government would move against Christ, hauling him before the local regional ruler of the Roman government, Pontius Pilate.  There He would stand trail.

It was on Thursday of that week that Jesus met with His disciples one final time before His trial, conviction, and crucifixion.  He told them what was coming, although they did not fully understand.  And He gave them a tangible manner of remembering Him--the wine and the bread, symbolizing His blood and body.  Each time Christians gather to partake of the cup and the bread they commemorate Christ's death.

This is what 'Maundy Thursday' or 'Holy Thursday' means.  After the Lord's Supper, Christ would be arrested by Roman authorities, placed on trial, and on Friday, crucified.  This is, without doubt, the most significant week in Christianity.

Prayer: "Heavenly Father, humble us as we enter into this most sacred period of our faith.  Cleanse our hearts and make us ready to receive the truths Jesus symbolized at the Last Supper, when He offered to His disciples the cup and the bread.  We thank you for your eternal, undying love that You exhibited for us by dying on the Cross, laying down your life as a sacrifice for sinners. May we be but merely a small example of that love you expressed to us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Song--'Let Us Break Bread Together' by J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet.

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