This week’s reading is pretty long, so I have divided it into two. It will do us good to read the unfolding of the events of Good Friday. Perhaps if you have access to some music you might play a worship song in between.
First Reading is Matthew 26:36-27:10
Play or stream a worship song that is meaningful to you here.
Second Reading is Matthew 27:11–54
Meryl and I have had the privilege of sharing communion with many of you over the past couple of weeks in your own homes. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do that again until the Government lifts the restrictions on our meeting together. Nevertheless, Meryl, Anne and I, have been working very hard to make sure that when this present crisis is over we will still have a healthy functioning church. We look forward with eager expectation to seeing you all again together in our church building that we love so much.
Over the past few weeks I have shared with you the servant songs of Isaiah that climaxed in the 53rd chapter which describes the crucifixion as graphically as if the writer had been there. It is so close to the events in Matthew’s gospel account that it is hard to believe that it was written some 700 years before the cross.
Today we will honour His wishes and remember His sacrifice and what it meant both for Him and for us.
Let us read again the verses in Mathew’s account that tell of that night.
Matthew 26:26–29 (NKJV)
The Lord’s Supper is Instituted
Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Cor. 11:23–26
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
Let us now receive the bread.
“Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you.”—Matt. 26:26.
When the Lord says this, He points out to us that His body is not so much His as it is ours, since He received it and suffered it to be broken on the cross, not for His own sake, but for ours; and that He now also desires that we should look upon it and appropriate it as our own possession. Thus, with His body, He gives Himself to us, and desires that we should take Him. The fellowship of the Lord’s Supper is a fellowship of giving and taking. Blessed giving: blessed taking.
Now let us prepare to receive the cup
“Drink, for this is My blood.”
The blood of Jesus is my drink of life. Jesus’ love is the power of my life. The spirit of Jesus’ life is the spirit of my life. O my God, help me to conceive these wonders. How powerful, how heavenly must that life be which is nourished by the New Wine of the kingdom and has communion with the blood of God’s Son, not only by cleansing, but also by drinking.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Heavenly Father, you have opened to us the Scriptures,
and you have made yourself known to us
in the breaking of the bread and in the sharing of the cup.
Abide with us and in us, we pray,
that, blessed by your royal presence,
we may walk with you, that we may be empowered by your Spirit to witness and to serve you as disciples all the days of our life,
and at its end behold you in your glory,
one God for ever and ever.
May “The Lord bless you and keep you;
May The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
May The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
 Andrew Murray, The Lord’s Table: A Help to the Right Observance of the Holy Supper (New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell, 1897), 70.
 Andrew Murray, The Lord’s Table: A Help to the Right Observance of the Holy Supper (New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell, 1897), 79.