Today, Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday on Easter week. Do you know what Maundy means? Neither did I so I researched it. Maundy stems from a Latin word that means command. Jesus said “I give you a commandment to love one another.” (John 13:34) Jesus doesn’t just give a commandment and leave it at that. No, He explains it so we understand it and demonstrates it.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:14-17)
The disciples, John and Peter, had secured the Upper Room for the evening of the Passover. After sunset, they gathered with Jesus upstairs room for their meal. Don’t you wish you had been there with them? Jesus began first by washing the feet of the disciples. This was to demonstrate His great love for them and us. He wanted to show them that we are to love and serve each other. No one is too great to serve another or show love. Washing someone’s dusty, dirty feet was not something a higher class person or leader did. They had servants for that. By washing their feet Jesus demonstrated how even the Son of God and Man, had a love so intense he would do this menial task. Jesus did it kindly, lovingly. Can you imagine how humbling that must have been? I hate to get a pedicure from a mere person. To have my Savior wash my feet is unthinkable.
After the foot washing it was time for the meal. Are you familiar with a Seder supper? A typical Passover or Seder meal is symbolic in the retelling of the first Passover where the Jewish people had to hurry and leave.
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) “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).
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, paid my debt, been beaten, or died for me. How could I ever forget for one day that Jesus did? 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 and me. Will you remember? I will be better than I have.