Sermon Prep for Maundy Thursday

We’re having a “Maundy Thursday” service (Veliki četvrtak, or “Great Thursday”, we call it in Croatia) at Kristova Crkva Kušlanova, and I am giving the sermon.

Actually, I am planning to give two extended meditations, one before communion and one after.  Both will be about 5-7 minutes in English, with a translator.

Our worship director asked me to think about Hebrews 4-5, Jesus the High Priest.

As I am working through that passage, I keep looking back at two events from Maundy Thursday, Jesus washing the disciples’ feet (John 13) and Jesus breaking the bread at the last supper (Matt-Mark-Luke).

Almost everything Jesus does echoes priestly activity.

  • He disrobes (as the High Priest did on the day of atonement).
  • He washes (as the High Priest did on the day of atonement), but not himself (for he is sinless); he washes OTHERS (as the High Priest did on the day of atonement).
  • He forgives sin (“Simon, I have washed you.  You are clean”).
  • He breaks the bread (as the priests did in some of the sacrifices from Leviticus).
  • He prays for his people (as the High Priest did on the day of atonement).
  • He enters the most holy place (as the High Priest did on the day of atonement) opening the way for his people to follow.
  • Etc., etc.

I’m thinking that a homiletical key might be how Jesus’ activities echoed the High Priest’s and how they break new ground.

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