What in the world is ‘Maundy Thursday?’
Maundy Thursday is part of what is known as the Passion Week, the week before Easter that began with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and culminated with His death, burial and resurrection (the day we celebrate as Easter). Maundy Thursday is sometimes referred to as ‘Holy Thursday,’ referring to the Last Supper Jesus celebrated with His disciples. The word maundy is derived from the Latin word command. The ‘Maundy‘ in ‘Maundy Thursday‘ refers to the new command Jesus gave to the disciples during that final meal. What was His new command to the men who had been following Him around from town to town? Look at what John, one of the eyewitnesses of Jesus, writes:
(Jesus speaking) “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
– John 13:33-35
On the last night He would be with His disciples before His death, Jesus gave them a new commandment that would distinguish them as His followers: love. Jesus’ entire life can be summarized with that one word. He felt compassion for people, He met the needs of people, He served people, He put others before Himself, and ultimately He died to offer forgiveness for every sin of every person that would ever live. It is the rescue we all needed and the one we will talk about this weekend. His death on the cross was motivated by His love for you. Who has Jesus put into your life to love? Who is around you that needs the rescue Jesus offers? Bring them with you this Sunday.