Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Holy Thursday

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and he gave
it to his disciples, saying, 'Take it; this is my body.'
"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they
all drank from it.
"'This is my blood of the covenant
which is poured out for many,'
he said to them."

Leviticus describes the requirements for the "Fellowship" or, "Peace" Offering. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictonary explains that the "Fellowship" Offering was a "bloody offering presented to God." A portion of the offering was devoted to the priest - God's representative - while the remainder was shared with the guests and worshipers. As a result of this offering, peace was made with God, sins were forgiven, and a right relationship with God was restored.

Of course, this practice is strange for most - if not all - of us. However, for Jesus' disciples, the "Fellowship Offering" was probably not strange. And when Jesus, our Great High Priest, broke the bread and shared the wine while claiming, "This is my body, this is my blood," I'm sure that those in attendance knew just what he was saying.

"My body and my blood, which I offer to you at this feast, restore the fellowship humanity was intended to have with God. Though you have lived in strife with the Father, I will restore peace."