Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thankfulness: From Hand to Heart Day 20

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.”"Matthew 26:26 NIV

      So, yet another verse where Jesus is praying over the food again, right? Not quite. This time the bread had a greater purpose to serve than just filling bellies. This was the Passover bread-the unleavened bread that represented the hurry with which the Israelites left Egypt when the Lord set them free from their oppressors. This was the dinner that represented when the Lord rescued an entire nation. Single-handedly.

    Jesus offered thanks, right before He offered Himself. Again, we don't know exactly what He said. But His actions in this scene are all about giving the disciples a glimpse into what is about to happen:

"Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b]covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”" Matthew 26:27-28 NIV

  He was showing them that He was about to give Himself up-on their behalf, to be the Passover sacrifice. Our Passover sacrifice, so that our blood would not have to be spilled, so that the angel of death would go over us, so that we would be freed to enter the Promised Land. And while He was presenting this beautiful object lesson, He was giving thanks. He was about to endure the hardest trial that could ever be imagined, and He was offering gratitude. 

   Just stop and think about that. He was giving thanks before He gave Himself. If He did that, so we can give thanks in all things. 

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2 NIv

  Nobody eagerly signs up to sacrifice-except Christ. He set the example-not only did He sacrifice, He gave thanks while doing it. That isn't the expected, that is what set Him apart. 

Today's Reflection:
   Christ gave thanks, even in the middle of making the single greatest sacrifice ever. In our own lives, we are called to sacrifice-how can we exemplify a spirit of thankfulness while doing so? Can you find a way to thank God for allowing you to sacrifice, and giving you the power to be grateful in the midst of it? 

Looking for the printable scripture writing plan? Or another day of the "Thankfulness: From Hand to Heart" study? Find them here!

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