Thursday of Holy Week – The Agreement Of The New Covenant

Thursday of Holy Week is more commonly known as Maundy Thursday. This was the day when the events leading toward Jesus’ death were put into action. Judas had already made a deal with the Jewish leaders to betray Jesus. He would complete that deal later that evening.

When they left Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead. He gave them instructions on how to find the Room in Jerusalem where they would eat the Passover Feast. That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover.

By performing this humble act of service, Jesus demonstrated by example how believers should love one another. Today, many churches practice foot-washing ceremonies as a part of their Maundy Thursday services.

Thursday of Holy Week was the Introduction of Communion

Jesus then offered the elements of communion. In doing so He explained the significance of them. First the bread, then the wine.

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  Luke 22:19

Jesus likened the bread to His physical body. In doing so He pointed out three things of importance. Just as the bread He was giving them was broken, His body would be broken. Then in the next sentence, He doesn’t say that it was given to them. No, it was given for them. Third, He encourages them and us to do this again and again in remembrance of Him.

The wine was an important part of the meal. The cup was filled multiple times for different reasons throughout the meal, which is a study of its own. In Luke’s account, 2 of those times are recorded.

The second one that Luke tells us about is a continuation of communion. While Jesus partook of the first cup with His disciples, this one was offered after the meal and was only passed among the disciples.

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. Luke 22:20

A New Covenant

Jesus had just revealed to His disciples a legal matter that was taking place in heaven. The old covenant was about to be fulfilled. The agreement of the new covenant was on the table and ready to be confirmed. Even though Jesus asked that the cup He was about to bear would pass from Him, He knew it couldn’t.

Before they went down to the Mount of Olives, Jesus had a conversation with Peter. We are all fully aware of Jesus revealing Peter’s denial, but let’s look at what Jesus told him first.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

Peter was about to turn his back on the Lord momentarily. Why? I would guess that it was fueled by fear. He still believed what he told Jesus when asked, But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

So Peter’s faith didn’t fail, but he did need to repent for his fearful actions. Sometimes we beat ourselves up thinking that our faith has failed when all along our actions are fueled by a human flaw.

We still need to repent. We still need to turn to the Lord again. But just like Jesus was praying for Peter, He is also praying for you. That is great news on this Thursday of Holy Week.

Related Posts

All of the other related Holy Week Posts include the following. 

Today’s chapter is found in Luke 22.

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