Countdown to the Cross - Maundy Thursday
On this day of Holy Week the following things took place:
-Peter and John make preparation for Passover
-Jesus washes disciples feet
-The Last Supper (Passover)
-The Garden of Gethsemane
We’re familiar with Good Friday…Easter most certainly. But what is Maundy Thursday? Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and was the day of the Last Supper when Jesus celebrated his final Passover with His disciples and was the last meal He ate before dying on the cross.
Also, that Passover meal was when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples in an unprecedented display of humility. He then commanded them to do the same for each other. Maundy Thursday marks an important part of Holy Week. It was also on this day that Jesus went to Gethsemane and prayed "Not my will, but thine, be done" Luke 22:42.
The meaning of Maundy
The word "maundy" comes from the Latin word "mandatum," which means mandate or command. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" John 13:34.
That commandment raised the definition of love to a new level and a higher standard. As He was about to go to the cross, Jesus was telling his disciples, and demonstrating to them through washing their feet, that the kind of love He was talking about was much more than the rules of the Pharisees--it was sacrificial and selfless.
Today not only marks the day Jesus shared the Passover meal, it was also when Judas left to betray Him and when Jesus prays in Gethsemane. This was the hour when the enemy would bruise His heel. Genesis 3:15. A lot was going on and Jesus felt the weight of it.
The Bible often records Jesus saying His hour had not yet come, but on Maundy Thursday, He knew that the beginning of the fulfillment of His greatest mission on Earth had come.
All His human life had anticipated this hour. Now the hour was here. Jesus agonizes over what He is about to face on the cross and He "prayed more fervently, and was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood" Luke 22:44. He chose the cross.
Good Friday gets a lot of attention, as well as Easter Sunday, but the events of Maundy Thursday were the beginning of the end of the story that God has been writing since the beginning of time.
When Jesus washed the disciples feet and when He cried out to His Father to "let this cup pass from Me," (Matt. 26:39), we see his humanity and the enormous sacrifice He paid for our sins. And that is something we would do well today to reflect upon.
Below is a prayer I came across for today:
You sent your Son into the world and before His hour had come He washed His disciples’ feet. You had given all things into His hands. He had come from you, and was going to you and what did He do? He knelt down on the floor and washed His friends’ feet.
He was their teacher and their Lord, yet He washed their feet. Lord God, help us learn from His example. Help us to do as He has done for us. The world will know we are His disciples
If we love one another. Strengthen our hands and our wills for love and service.
Keep before our eyes the image of your Son, Who, being God, became a Servant for our sake. All glory be to Him who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever.