Institution of the Lord’s Supper
22And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take;this is my body.” 23And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
I heard a sermon last year about Good Friday in Korea. Although I didn’t understand much (the sermon being in Korean), one excellent point the pastor made was how Christ gave thanks for the bread and wine; symbols of his body and blood and also his pending death. Although he did not go deeper in exposition on this point (or perhaps I couldn’t understand anymore)
it was a point I pondered the rest of the day. Why would anyone be thankful for their own impending death?
We usually associate thanks with a totally different holiday and what we are thankful for is often circumstantial and selfish. God knows how many times I thanked him when things have gone well in my life. Thanks for getting into school, finding a job, doing well on a test etc. My thanks extends to a circle that extends no farther than ME. Not sure why I should thank a God otherwise….In fact, recently I’ve found myself being thankful for less and less with my worries and concerns about school and my future.
Back to the original point, Christ’s giving thanks becomes all the more confusing when we realize his thanks related directly to his own death and suffering. But it was in this act itself, we realize how God wishes to unravel selfishness in our own hearts. How? By demonstrating a selflessness wholly different from my own nature. It becomes all the the more compelling, not because selflessness was a rule God merely mandated for me to follow, but because God actually showed me His selflessness on the cross.
It truly is Good Friday, not for what good I did or could ever do and for this I give thanks.