Bouwe Leenstra- 2014
Growing up in the CRC all my life, I do not remember hearing that the Thursday before Good Friday was referred to as Maundy Thursday, until a few years ago. When I heard the day called Maundy Thursday, I wondered what that was all about. So I did some research.
The word Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, which means command. In today’s text, Jesus commands His disciples to “wash one another’s feet just as He has done to them.” He also told them that “No servant is greater than his master.” (John 13:14-16) Jesus also commanded that we continue to celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and he gave it to them, saying, This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19-20).
Today is the day we remember another of Jesus’ commands on the day before He died. The command is to love one another: ”A new command I give you: Love one another.” “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) Maundy Thursday is also the night Jesus predicted his betrayal by His disciple Judas Iscariot and it was carried out.
Today we remember the Lord’s commands and His Supper. We also look ahead to the love He showed for us on the following day as He laid down His life to save us. Jesus would go to the cross for crucifixion. Maundy Thursday basically celebrates the last days of Jesus’ life, known as the Passion, and shows what kind of Messiah Jesus intended to be. It shows Him as a human, as a humble man who was scared to meet his fate and saddened by the betrayal of others. It also reminds us that Jesus was to die for the sins of mankind. This differs from the expectation of the time that the Messiah would be a war-like king who would free the Jews from their Roman oppressors.
Gracious Heavenly Father, Thank you for your Son Jesus. As we celebrate this Holy Week, we remember the commands and commands and blessings that Jesus gave us on Maundy Thursday. He took on the burdens of all of our sins when He suffered and died on the cross on Good Friday. He conquered Satan, death and hell and rose from the dead on that Easter Sunday that we might have life. Amen.