Today is Holy Thursday which is known as Maundy Thursday. Maundy is derived from a Latin word that means commandment. This is the day that Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment – to love others as He has loved them. (John 13:34). They were gathered in the Upper Room.
Jesus was at the table with His apostles and spoke to them of what was to come. He was preparing them for His suffering. They dined on the usual Passover meal, but Jesus stopped at the the bread and wine. He gave it a special meaning. Jesus said that these would be a symbol of His body and blood to His followers to remind them that through His death, our sins are forgiven.
” And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Do you think of Him each time you take communion? He paid the ultimate price for our eternity. More than we could ever imagine.
Jesus and His disciples often gathered in the “Upper Room”. It was where they normally stayed while in Jerusalem. Today Jesus began His teaching by example. After they ate He washed the disciples feet. What a humbling experience for them! Even Peter told Him that Peter should be washing His feet, but Jesus said no. In John it says “Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
I cannot fathom what it must have felt like for the apostles. Jesus was telling them of His upcoming death but that through it we all might have eternal life. He was showing by example that we are to be humble and to love everyone, even our enemies – even those who are our Judas.
Afterwards Jesus and a few of His followers went to the Garden of Gethsemene to pray. It is there that Judas identified Jesus with a kiss and He was taken by the soldiers. Things start to get rowdy but Jesus quiets His apostles. He will not allow violence. In fact, He heals a soldier whose ear was severed. Jesus is arrested and taken to the authorities.
My heart is heavy writing this. Can you imagine how it felt to actually be there? Thank you for revisiting Maundy Thursday with me. Tomorrow we will see what Good Friday holds.