Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 – The Passover
1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.
11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn–both men and animals–and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. 14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD–a lasting ordinance.
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. 3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, save me!” 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. 7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. 8 For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. 10 I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” 11 And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.” 12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. 14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16 O Lord, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. 17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. 18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the Lord– in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
John 13:1-15 – Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
God our Father,
as we read the story of your supper
we are humbled to be invited to celebrate with you.
You invite us to celebrate communion in remembrance of you.
We pray that during this Easter week
we may experience the fullness of your love.
You gave us an example to imitate.
On Holy Thursday we celebrate the gift of the love of Jesus,
given to us as an example of self-less love.
In our prayer today, just as the disciples let the Lord wash their feet,
we allow you to love us completely and unconditionally –
and we let Jesus be broken and given for us.
We pray that we might be faithful to the commandment of Jesus –
that we might love others in the same way that we have been loved.
The Father anointed Christ with the Holy Spirit
to proclaim forgiveness to those in bondage.
Let us humbly ask:
Lord, have mercy on us.
You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
– help us to understand the depth of your suffering.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
– help us to comprehend that you were pierced for our transgressions.
You made the cross the tree of life,
– thank you for giving us the gift of new life.
On the cross you forgave the repentant thief,
– thank you for the forgiveness you offer to us.
as we remember the Passover Feast,
may we be fed by your love.
At that Lord’s Supper, Jesus told us to “love one another”
just as His love led to His sacrifice for me.
I ask that my heart
with the same sacrificial love toward others.
Guide me to the fullness of your love and life.