Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy, is derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "commandment." It refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper:
- to love with humility by serving one another and
- to remember His sacrifice.
The Last Supper, like the Triumphal Entry I wrote about last week, is included in all four Gospels. I would like to list some things that stand out to me as I re-read these very familiar passages.
- In Matthew's Gospel, we see that for Jesus' last supper on earth, I believe that He purposely chose the Passover celebration (26:18). The Passover supper was to be a reminder to the Jews of their rescue from slavery in Egypt. Now Jesus was about to provide a way for all mankind to be rescued from their slavery from sin!
- Mark points out that during this Feast of Unleavened Bread, it was customary to sacrifice the Passover Lamb (14:12). After Jesus' death, no longer would anyone have to wonder where they would get a perfect lamb for the sacrifice.
- In Luke, Jesus takes the cup, gives thanks and says to His disciples "Take this and divide it among you." (22:17) This cup, of the New Covenant, which represented His blood that was about to be poured out, is meant to be divided, or shared.
- John's Gospel says that "Having loved his own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love." (13:1b) My NIV Study Bible Note says: "One feature of the discourse (in John's account of the upper room) is Jesus' emphasis on love. The word occurs only six times in chs. 1-12 but 31 times in chs. 13-17." How did He show love to His disciples? By washing their feet. In 13:15-17 Jesus says: "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."
As my husband has said repeatedly in his sermons, it is not enough that we go to church or even read about the Easter stories. We will only be blessed if we do what Jesus did.