Maundy Thursday – April 14, 2022
Maundy Thursday – April 14, 2022
The kingdom of God has come and already comes in the person of Jesus Christ. It comes through the gift of faith now and will come in visible glory on the last day. As Jesus partakes of this Passover, he marks the fulfillment of the exodus past (the one from Egypt) and anticipates the fulfillment of the exodus present (the one he is currently making). Jesus’ current exodus was the subject of conversation between Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration (Lk. 9:31). This is the exodus for which Jesus set his face in determination (Lk. 9:51). This is the exodus that distresses Jesus in its urgency (Lk. 12:50). The completion of this exodus begins with Jesus’ arrest—his being handed over to the hands of men (Lk. 9:44)—and ends with his final exhalation of breath (Lk. 23:46).
Jesus began his ministry, and continued his ministry, preaching, “The kingdom of God has come near” (Mt. 3:2; Lk. 10:9; Mk. 1:15; Mt. 4:17 among others). The “kingdom of God” (or its synonyms) appears over three hundred times in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus’ words here can be construed as an oath: “For I tell you, I will not drink…” (vs. 18). Jesus swears on this reality: the banquet feast of the Lamb to occur at the glorious manifestation of the kingdom of God when the eschaton arrives, and all things are revealed.
Until then, the kingdom of God is hidden. It is hidden in the person of Jesus Christ. He comes to you… he comes to me… he comes to all, through his Word and through this sacrament of his body and blood… he comes, however, to faith not sight. The visible glory possessed by the kingdom of God is not manifest until the last day. Until then, all its glory hides beneath the man handed over to sinners… all its glory hides in his nail-pierced hands and feet… all its glory hides within his thorn-bloodied brow… all its glory hides in his last exhalation. This image, the crucified Son, is the image to which we are to be conformed while we live this side of the last day (Ro. 8:28). Yet, even as we are conformed to this suffering Son, we live in the hope of his being “the firstborn among many.”
Table Talk: Discuss your various understandings of the kingdom of God.
Pray: Heavenly Father, I know your kingdom comes without my prayer, but grant that it come also to me and among us. Amen
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it. 9 They said to him, Where will you have us prepare it? 10 He said to them, Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters 11 and tell the master of the house, The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? 12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there. 13 And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. 19 And he 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. 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.