Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Meal - circa 33 ad


This is probably the most famous meal ever eaten, in the history of the world. Of course, they didn't know it at the time...
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7 -8 The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, "Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together."
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A meal for 13 guys is a big undertaking. Especially a ceremonial meal, with carefully selected ingredients.
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Add to that the fact that all of these guys were away from their home towns, and apparently slept out in the fields a lot of the time. There was a group of women who would make food for them, but all of those would be at their own homes preparing their own "Thanksgiving Meals". It wasn't Thanksgiving, it was Passover, but had similarities in that it was a big event in each family.

9They said, "Where do you want us to do this?"
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Seems like a simple question. In fact, it was a big deal.
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10 -12He said, "Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, 'Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?' He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there."
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Was all this miraculous? Could be. Could be that Jesus Deity and foreknowledge were at play, and he foretold a series of events that he had no way of knowing other than divine insight. It doesn't say.
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It could also be all prearranged, and Jesus was just telling the two guys the plan that had been worked out. The text doesn't say and we really don't know. We do know that the folks had to be rich, to have a huge room upstairs that they were not using, and that would hold 13 guys at a meal. It could have been the family's "formal dining room" like so many large houses have today...

13"They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal.
14 -16When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, "You've no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It's the last one I'll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God."
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Of course, the point of the story is that Jesus took a customary ceremonial meal and changed the meaning entirely. In effect, he said, "This custom that you have had since you were born, points to me. I am the Lamb of God. It is my life that is to be laid down for your sins." It truly changed history...

17 -18 "Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, "Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I'll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives."
19Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory."
20He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you."
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They must have been bewildered, but no one said a word. They just took it in. Only later would they understand the impact of what he was saying.

21 -22"Do you realize that the hand of the one who is betraying me is at this moment on this table? It's true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out—no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday."
23They immediately became suspicious of each other and began quizzing one another, wondering who might be about to do this."
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This was language they could understand. They were a band. They might actually be in the presence of the Messiah. He was going to free Israel from the Romans. Any disloyalty could not be tolerated.
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So they argued.
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And missed the point.
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We do this very often today...

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