Skip to main content

Maundy Thursday

Remember how you felt as a child on Christmas Eve?  Did your heart swell with anticipation of what you were about to experience?  Was your mouth salivating for the traditional foods that would be shared around your Christmas table?  Thursday was the most important Feast in the life of the Jewish people.  Hoards of people flooded into Jerusalem to experience Passover in the way it was meant to be celebrated by bringing their flawless lamb to the Temple sacrifice.  Jesus’ family traveled from Nazareth to Jerusalem every Passover when He was a child.
This Passover would be quite different.  The sense of its importance could be recognized in the directions Jesus gave to His disciples for getting it prepared.  A particular Upper Room had been chosen for this event and God was already working on the hearts of the family who would offer it to Christ and His disciples.  Jesus began this most traditional meal in a most uncustomary way.  To show the disciples and us that we are to be servants first and foremost, He took on the role of the lowliest servant and washed the disciples’ feet.  Judas was revealed at the betrayer that night (this troubled Jesus).  Peter’s denial was prophesied and Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit who would now be able to come to us after He went away.  He prayed the great High Priestly Prayer recorded in John 17.  On this special night He gave us the Holy Eucharist and exhorted us to practice this sacrament of our New Covenant regularly.  They sang the hymns of the great Psalter and walked together from that Holy Room.  There were only twelve of them now and Jesus led them to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus urged them to pray for themselves, but they slept.  He prayed the prayer that caused Him to sweat drops of blood.  While the disciples slept, Jesus was transformed by this time of prayer and the ministry of the angels sent to help Him.  He rose up from that prayer not just willing, but eager to go to the cross for us.  Judas led the mob of Jewish authorities and betrayed Jesus with a kiss.  Jesus was arrested after He insured the release of His disciples and fixed Peter’s blunder by healing the servant’s ear. 
Have you learned the lessons of Maundy Thursday?  Whose feet do you wash?  Do you stay awake in prayer?  Do you anticipate the celebration of the Holy Eucharist?
(Matthew 26:17-46; Mark 14:12-42; Luke 22:7-46; John 13-17)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

You Shall Not Be Overcome

I distinctly remember sending this quote by Julian of Norwich to a recently widowed friend of mine over ten years ago.  You will not be overcome.
God did not say you will not be troubled,
You will not be belaboured,
You will not be disquieted;
But God said, You will not be overcome.
The quote in one of my devotional books for July 23, which marks the day I became a widow myself is by the same author.  “One day God spoke to me and I heard these words, “you won’t be overcome.”  God wants us to pay attention to His words.  God wants us to be strong in our certainty in Him, always, both in good times and in bad.  The Lord loves us, and God so enjoys our company.  God loves being with us and wants us to love Him and enjoy being with Him and trust Him completely, and all will be well.”  As I write this six years since his death I can attest to the reality that all will be well.  God chose to bless me with a second marriage to a wonderful man who holds my hand through this hur…

The Worst

What is the worst thing you think could happen to you?  There are so many options in a fallen world that it is hard to consider the worst.  We try not to think about it.  We do think we are going through the worst thing when we lose a loved one, are betrayed by a friend or family, sent to prison, or become the victim of a crime.  You know the worst thing that has happened to you.  You can think of someone for whom you are grateful that what happened to that person didn’t happen to you.               The world is full of frightening and dreaded options of worst case scenarios.  When you read the Bible, it is not hard to decide what the worst thing that could happen in your lifetime would be.  The Bible makes it clear that the worst is that you do not believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and be saved.               That sounds like a Sunday School answer doesn’t it?  It doesn’t feel that bad to say “No Thank You” to God.  Many don’t even recognize the day that they to…

Repenting for My Worship

Psalm 51: 15-17 describes true worship: Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
               The Lenten Season shoves in our faces the reality of who God is.  He is the God who killed His Son to conquer death for the humans He had formed with His hands in love.  What kind of God does that?  What kind of God creates heavens and earths, all the while knowing that the inhabitants could turn on Him in an instant? He had the power to destroy everything He created, yet finds a way to allow all the inhabitants to have their own way, either to follow Him or follow their own will?  He is the GREAT I AM.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is worthy of all praise.  He created us to bring Him praise (Isaiah 43:21).  He declares that His Son is worthy of even higher prai…