Holy Thursday holds a lot of excitement and drama - but also the joy of Jesus great gift of the Eucharist.
All involved in the taking of Jesus at the time, couldn’t deny His divinity, when in Joh 18,6 Jesus said IT’S ME YOU ARE SEEKING - they all fell to the ground. Surprising at that moment, that they took Him all in spite. But Satan always holds the eyes and the minds of those who sin.
The name “Holy Thursday” certainly is a much more precise and “hitting the point”-name, than the German name of that day: Gründonnerstag= Green-Thursday. Green, in the old 14th century German, in the sense of ABSOLUTION in the Latin term of “dies viridium” green + fresh of Luke …23,31: Jesus turning to the lamenting Jewish women said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
This word’s origine however is not certified. Nobody really knows, why in German it’s “Green-Thursday” and several other explanations are alike valid. (But I should imagine, that the word “Greenhorn” has got a similar origine, as a newcomer, a child, knows nothing yet - neither the sin).
However. The world widely forgot the real background of this Holy Thursday. And just yesterday we had a case in all medias, where a mother fought on court to “protect her Children from Christian teaching in school”! Such parents indeed condemned themselves already, as Christ warned in John 3,18: …he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
But back to the alike dramatic as decisively far reaching sense of that Holy Thursday, where Jesus not only gave some highly touching and moving assertions in connection of His death on the cross, as in Mt 26,29: I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
“WITH YOU IN MY FATHER’S KINGDOM” - we all recognize this as a great promise and present we undeservingly receive through God’s love and grace. I just detected a spelling-mistake in this mail I just corrected - I had written Holy Thirstday. But Thirst - yes, thirst for Jesus Christ we truly got until we see God!
In connection with Holy Thursday I saw last night on TV a Catholic Nun, who had escorted many dying believers with end-of-life-care. And she stated, that here lays the reason, why she herself looks forward to die, for this will be a great and most wonderful experience! Not at all frightening, for then the light of Christ comes towards us in the light, the warmth and the love of Jesus Christ - of God. She too refused the R.I.P in the sense of a kind of “unconscious resting” until Doomsday when all; just and unjust people will be resurrected and judged. No, she sad; we believers, will see Jesus right away when and while leaving our body; and this will be the greatest joy in our life! So she is looking forward to this day of her “death” or much better said transition into real life in absolute joy.
Let’s do alike, for Jesus told the man who died with Him on the cross: “TODAY….” Lk 23,43: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
In a Christian forum I reread: But Jesus had not resurrected yet - and - But Christ was not yet at His Father’s that day, as He said 3 days later in Joh 20,17: “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father”.
Those ifs and buts are hair-splitting - for firstly; Jesus though fully human and fully God, in His dying-hour thought in divine terms (exzept when He was fully human alone in the split moment when he said ELI ELI LAMA SABACHTANI (we had the theme before). And secondly - Jesus was never dead, but His spirit was in the hands of The Father when Jesus gave up his spirit into the hands of The Father. John says in 19,30, He “gave up his spirit” into the hands of the Father. Matthew witnesses in Mt 27,50: Christ yielded up His spirit. To yield up is to willingly hand over (to the Father). Mark and Luke say alike; “He breathed out His soul”. All of them underline, that Jesus gave His life voluntarily; not taken away as in Lk 12,20, where our soul is required of us. As will be the case with All of us. As Jesus had said in John 10,17: For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. So: Jesus gave up His spirit - it wasn’t taken off Him.
Holy Thursday primarily brought us Jesus’ physical presence in the Holy Eucharist, and the Lutheran teaching that this is only so to him who believes so, is one of the main differences between us and our Protestant brethren - and terribly sad. But Holy Thursday also is the beginning of the unbelievably cruel taking and torturing of God the world committed, and God the Father let happen and voluntarily upload His only begotten Son Jesus Christ upon Himself, for the justness towards all - in heaven, hell and earth.
Last of which takes a very long explanation, but in our “MailCircle” we often had this righteousness towards all creation. Still; no-one should ever hesitate to inquire if any unsureness arises, for there is hardly anything more inspiring, than to talk about God - and then all of us help all, the questioner helps the respondent, and all help all - as even a child can help a cleric when it comes to divine insights, which the Holy spirit gives to Him who opens himself for belief. And then our heart will burn as the hearts of the disciples of Emmaus did in Luke 24,32