Why is “Holy Thursday” holy? The Thursday before Jesus’ crucifixion (which occurred on a Friday) happened to be the evening Passover, a Jewish feast day. So, Jesus instructed his disciples to make arrangements for the fest.
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying,
“Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”
And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
That evening, Jesus institutes a new tradition for his disciples to follow – what we now call the Lord’s Supper.
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said,
“Take, eat; this is my body.”
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
So, again, why is “Holy Thursday” holy? Living in the post-Resurrection world, Christians celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a sign of the new covenant. Whereas God’s people were under the Mosaic covenant in the Old Testament, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament secured atonement for all the past, present, and future sins of God’s people. Believers, members of the new covenant, have full access to God the Father through God the Son. “Holy Thursday” allows us to remembered that those in Christ are holy because He is holy.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)
For additional thoughts on the theology of the Lord’s Supper, check out this article published by The Resurgence. If you have questions about Holy Thursday, Easter, or the Resurrection of Christ we invite you to join Grace Community Church for our Easter Sunday worship service!