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Thursday in Holy Week: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17

Christ died for us. Let us live for Him.
Here, we focus attention on two verses which emphasize the importance of being saved by the Lord and going on to live for Him: ‘when I see the blood, I will pass over you... you must eat unleavened bread’ (Exodus 12:13, 20).
In verse 13, we are directed beyond the Passover to Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins (John 1:29; 1 John1:7).
In verse 20, we have the call to holy living.
In 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 and Galatians 5:7-9, Paul uses ‘leaven’ as a symbol of ‘sin’, which holds us back from ‘running a good race’.
We are to live as a new creation, who feast on ‘the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’. Forgiveness of sins and holy living belong together. We are not to rejoice in God’s forgiveness and then gloss over His call to holy living: ‘justified by faith’, we are to ‘walk in newness of life’ (Romans 5:1; 6:4).

God loves us. Let us love one another.
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We take note of what Paul says about the way we are to come to the Lord’s Table (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
What’s this all about? Is it about the whole thing looking good - impressive?
Paul gives us something to think about in verse 22 - ‘Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?’.
In Paul’s questions, we hear an echo of the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 1:12-20; Amos 5:21-24).
We rejoice in John 3:16 - ‘God so loved the world…’. Let’s not forget 1 John 3:16-18 - ‘let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in trust’.
Jesus says, ‘…first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’(Matthew 5:23-24). Don’t just think about it. Act on it (James1:22-25; 2:14-17)!

Our love for God is to be a lifelong love.
‘I love the Lord... I will call on Him as long as I live’ (Psalm 116:1-2).
Our love for God is to be a lifelong love. It is to be the love of our life.
What are we to do when our love for God grows weak? We must remember His love for us - ‘Great is His love towards us. The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever’ (Psalm 117:2).
When we find it difficult to keep on loving God, we must remember how much He loves us.
When we feel like giving up on loving God, we must remember that He never gives up on loving us.
He loves us when our love for Him is strong. He loves us when our love for Him is weak.
In love, He reaches out to us. He brings us out of our weakness and into His strength. Let His strong love reach you in your weakness and give you His strength: ‘Loving Him who first loved me’ (Church Hymnary, 450).

Let the love of God change the way you live.
The Pharisees continue to exert their evil influence. ‘For fear of the Pharisees’, many remained silent, ‘loving the praise of men more than the praise of God’(John 12:42-43).
Whatever the opposition, Jesus calls us to believe in Him and confess Him (Romans 10:9). He calls us out of darkness into light (John 12:46).
If you are a believer, come out into the open. Make it known that you belong to Christ.
Do not only read God’s Word for yourself. Speak His Word to others (John 12:50).
The ‘hour’ of Jesus’ suffering draws near. Satan is busy. Jesus is in control (John 13:1-3). It is the ‘hour’ of His love.
We are ‘washed’ in His precious blood (John 13:8; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 7:14).
What God has done for us comes before what we ought to do for others.
Jesus is our Saviour before He is our ‘Example’ (John 13:14-15). Knowing Him, let us do His will (John 13:17).

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