Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2020 Matthew 26:28.

Matthew 26:28.     ​For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
 
Ah Lord eh…it’s just one of those days! Yuh know when nothing seems to go right. Chuh! I got up late, what else is new eh? (smile) Then I began writing the Bit…but lo and behold the Roofers finally showed up to fix my roof, from which shingles had blown off during the strong winds in the past couple of weeks. So I dealt with them, then came back to the Bit, only to discover that I could not find all the information I needed to continue in that vein. Steups! And it was a very interesting vein. That meant I had to discard all that I’d previously written and start all over again. 

So obviously I’m not a happy camper, as I hear the roofers pounding on the roof, for a significant outlay of money, and I am having to reset my thoughts. But I’ll just have to grin and bear it, as I keep telling others when they go through some annoying times. (smile) And on this Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, why should I expect to have no problems eh, when Jesus trials were just coming to a head? If we expect to rise with him, then we should also expect to suffer with Him. 

Anyway, on this Maundy Thursday, so called because of Jesus washing His disciples feet. He also instituted the ceremony of Communion or Holy Eucharist, during what we call the Last Supper that He held with His disciples at the beginning of the Passover Feast. It was a very moving supper. First off, as they sat eating, Jesus declared : ‘Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.’ (Matt. 26:21) What a bombshell to throw out to your followers on a supposed day of rejoicing!  

Obviously that stirred up things. ‘And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, (“that indicated the highly personal and intimate nature of the betrayal”) the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.’ (Matt. 26:23-24) Steups! Just had another interruption. The roofers were finished and I had to go and pay them. But we’ll get through it, with the Lord’s help…and it will be good! (smile) 

Now after that, there’s a verse that in my opinion is very significant, but you never hear anybody really talking about. ‘Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master (Rabbi), is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said (it)’ (Matt.26:25) In other words, Jesus told him, ‘yes.’ So how come more attention isn’t paid to that by any of the gospel writers eh? Matthew and John and Simon Peter were there. But as John writes, I guess Simon and he were too busy with their own li’l drama, with John, the disciple Jesus LOVED, (Hn!) leaning back on Jesus’ chest, and Simon motioning that he should ask who it was. 

And according to John, ‘Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop (a piece of bread) when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon (not Simon Peter). And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly…. He then having received the sop went immediately out, and it was night.’ (John 13:26-27, 30) 

Now according to John, nobody in the gathering knew why Jesus spoke thus to Judas, possibly thinking that because he held the communal money, he was to go out and buy things for the feast or give to the poor. (John 13:28-29) But the scholars seem to think that possibly only John heard the exchange between Jesus and Judas.

 ‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it (drink from it all of you – hence the communal cup); For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.’ (Matt. 26:26-28). Oh friends, what a monumental moment that was! 

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘Jesus took bread: The head of the Jewish household was accustomed to doing this during the Passover Feast. Jesus gave a completely new significance to the action. This is my body: During the Passover feast the Jewish householder took bread in his hand  and said, “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt,” meaning of course, that the one represented the other. 

By His words the Lord changed the whole significance and emphasis of the feast from looking back to the typical redemption from Egypt to faith in the redemption from sin accomplished by His death. The bread and wine were only outward symbols of our Lord’s death. Nothing in the Gospels indicates that these were to be viewed as a means of grace, sacraments, or that they were physically necessary for one’s salvation.’ 

Yes friends, celebrating the Eucharist is important, but it’s only and outward sign of our inner acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Saviour. And we have one more set of explanations from the scholars. ‘The cup: Three cups were passed around by the Jewish householder during the Passover meal; the third, which is probably the one referred to here, being known as “the cup of blessing.” My blood of the new testament taken from the Greek Septuagint version of Exodus 24:8, (please read it) with allusions to Jeremiah 31:31 and Zechariah 9:11. 

The covenant in Exodus was sealed with blood. The word ‘testament’ (Gr. diatheke) can also mean “a covenant.” Shed for many for the remission of sins: Here is a clear statement that the death of Jesus was necessary to enable God to forgive sins. It, in fact, made it right or morally justifiable for Him to do so.’ 

Oh my people, so many other important things happened on Maundy Thursday that we don’t have space nor time to talk about them. Like Jesus foretelling Peter’s denial, then going to the Garden of Gethsemane and praying for guidance and strength, so impassioned that His sweat seemed like drops of blood, and finally being arrested through Judas’ recognizing kiss and a mock trial, where Peter betrayed Him. But you can read all of that for yourself in the gospels. I just hope that this Bit makes sense and gives us some new insight into the last supper and it’s meaning, since I had so many interruptions and changes of mind set. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, so generously granted to us to help us with our earthly work…spreading the gospel of Jesus. In strong voice, with sincere hearts – that’s the only way to do it (smile) –  ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now let’s share those divine blessings as best and as generously we can with the tough constraints we’re currently under. Much LOVE!

…to be blessed is wonderful…but to share the blessing is heavenly…

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