Holy Thursday begins three services that form a single unit spanning three days. It is called the Triduum. We begin with the New Testament of our Lord’s body and blood. Here our Lord fulfills what came before, delivers to us His own flesh and blood, and anticipates the marriage feast of the Lamb without end, which is to come.

The command to keep the Sabbath Day holy has been transformed. Our Lord has delivered to us the New Testament of His body and blood and the foretaste of the feast to come. Luther reminds us that to keep this commandment is not to despise the preaching of His Word but gladly to hear and learn it. Tonight this preaching is set before us in bread, which is Christ’s body, and wine, which is His blood. The whole commandment takes on new meaning in the pledge and promise of Christ to give Himself as food for His people—heavenly food that forgives, strengthens, and assures us that we are His and He is ours.

The sermon text for Maundy Thursday is from Mark 14:12-16 (ESV).

The Passover with the Disciples

[12] And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” [13] And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, [14] and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ [15] And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” [16] And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. (Mark 14:12-16 ESV)

“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”