Listen carefully to two Bible verses both of which date back to that first Maundy Thursday. There's something that connects them. See if you can hear it:
"In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new testament in My blood'" (1 Cor. 11:25).
"'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another'" (John 13:34).
They have something in common. Did you hear it? It's the word "new," as in "new testament" and "new commandment." These two things go together. They are the Maundy Thursday "news."
Let's think for a minute about this word "new." What's "new"? We know what new is. New is a new car complete with new-car smell. New is a new pair of shoes. New is new technology - a new G. We know what new is. And I think we know, a little deeper down, that it doesn't last very long at all.
I bought my very first new car in 2003. In the first week, somebody broke the driver's-side mirror. It wasn't new anymore. Still driving it. The shoes you're wearing used to be new. And technology? The latest technology is tomorrow's late technology. New today, old tomorrow. We know what new is, and it doesn't last very long at all.
One of you said to me yesterday, "We're not getting younger." Meaning we too, our bodies, aren't as new as they used to be.
All of which makes the Maundy Thursday "news" such good news. The new testament and the new commandment aren't getting any older. They will never break. They will never wear out. They will never become obsolete. They will never be replaced. They are ever new, always new, truly new.
Two thousand years old and still new. As new this Maundy Thursday as they were the first one. And they have the power to make us new. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17). And, in my words, "If Christ is in anyone, he has a new faith and a new hope and a new love." As a result of which "we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth" (2 Pet. 3:13).
Did you know that the last time the word "new" is used in the Bible is Revelation 21:5 and words of Jesus, "Behold, I am making all things new"?
Starting with the testament to forgive us, and the commandment to love one another. Amen.