Thursday, 5 April 2012
Maundy Thursday (5th April)
Source for this image here.
Although there is a Maundy Thursday service at our Church, today Papa Bear decided that we would have a family home church service instead. We listened to this sermon online, which was originally broadcast as an Easter Sunday sermon (the Church where the sermon was preached is not the one we attend - it is in Oklahoma - thousands of miles away from our home!). But the theme of the sermon, the betrayal of Jesus, is very appropriate for Maundy Thursday, which in England marks the beginning of the Tridum - the three days of the Easter feast, the most important event in the Christian calendar. Maundy Thursday is the day on which the Last Supper is remembered, and services are held in both Catholic and Protestant Churches to commemorate this. We do sometimes attend the service at our Church, but tonight, as in the past, we held a home church service instead. It was so beautiful. As we listened, we watched the sun setting outside our living room window, staining the sky the most wonderful tones of gold and peach and mauve and silver and blue, fading slowly to navy, until all that you could see was the dark outlines of the naked trees before banks of clouds in the horizon that looked like huge, rolling mountain peaks. We were truely humbled before God's creation as we watched.
Please do listen to the sermon if you have time - it is really incredibly thought provoking, and had us all in tears at the end! See if it doesn't move your hearts in the same way as it did ours. It was very relevant too for this time of renewal and regeneration and hymns at the start of the sermon are lovely too for this special time of year.
Here is the Scripture passage which the sermon refers to - Matthew, Chapter 26. (Reproduced courtesy of Bible Gateway).
1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
3Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
9Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
10And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.
11And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
12And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
13Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?
14And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
15Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
16And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
17Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
18For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
19When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
21The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
22Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
23And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
26Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36And sitting down they watched him there;
37And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
44The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
48And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
49The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
55And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
56Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.
57When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
58He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
61And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
62Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
63Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
64Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
65Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.