Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. It was the evening of the Passover Feast that the disciples had in the Upper Room. After sunset, the disciples and Jesus gathered in that upstairs room that Peter and John had found for their meal. Don’t you wish you had been there? Jesus began by first washing the feet of the disciples. This was done to demonstrate His great love. He wanted to show them that we are all to love and serve each other. No one is too great to serve another or show love.
After the foot washing it was time for the meal. A typical Passover or Seder meal is symbolic in the reselling of the first Passover. It consisted of roasted lamb, (symbolizing the sacrifice), a roasted egg (renewal, new beginning), bitter herbs (the bad experience the Hebrew slaves had), haroset, recipe below (mortar the slaves used to build for the Egyptians), and green leafy vegetables like parsley or celery (green of Spring). The table must also have three pieces of Matzah, unleavened bread.
This is what Jesus told his disciples before they ate: “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before My suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16, NLT) Then He took the bread that was on the table, held it up, and gave thanks for it. Instructing His disciples “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”* This was when the first communion service began. After they had eaten the bread He took the cup and held it up saying: “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”* (*Luke 22:19-20, ESV).
Our precious Savior, the Lamb of God, was hours away from fulfilling the true meaning of Passover. He would be giving His body and shedding His blood in sacrifice for our sins. We are instructed to take communion in remembrance of this great sacrifice. How could we forget? No one else has taken my sins upon himself, been beaten, or died for me. How could I ever forget for one day? I do, unfortunately. Life gets busy and things happen. Whether at home or at church Communion is a vital part of worship so that we do remember. We must partake, repent, and give thanks for His grace, mercy, and sacrifice. It is a sacred, holy moment – a time to spend in close fellowship with Jesus and remember what He has done for you. Will you remember? I will.
Haroset, a Maundy Thursday recipe
1/2 cup almonds, chopped finely
1/2 cup apple, chopped
3 tablespoons grape juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dried fruit, chopped finely (date, fig, apricot, cranberries, etc.)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped finely
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
pinch of ginger
Mix together nuts and fruits. Add spices. Add grape juice.
Serve as a salad, appetizer or eat on crackers or matzah. This Passover recipe is an Easter favorite, too.