Thursday, April 6, 2023

Passion Week - Maundy Thursday

Thursday, April 6, 2023

It was now just before the Passover Feast, and Jesus knew that His hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the very end. The evening meal was underway, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had delivered all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God.  So He got up from the supper, laid aside His outer garments, and wrapped a towel around His waist.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel that was around Him. John 13:1-5

Passion Week - Maundy Thursday

The Thursday before Easter is known as Maundy Thursday. Maundy is a shortened form of a Latin word mandatum, which means command. This Thursday, the last Thursday before His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus gave His disciples a special commandment, a new commandment, as He celebrated His final Passover meal with them. This new commandment was 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. (John 13:34). This command gave the disciples a new standard to measure themselves by, the way they loved others.

Jesus loved His disciples sacrificially, meeting their deepest needs in a way no one else could, by giving them forgiveness of sins and new life. He loved everyone that way, even His enemies. He commanded His disciples, and us, to love all the way He loved. That means those who we think don’t deserve it, those who are difficult to love, and those who are different than us. He loves us unconditionally, expecting nothing in return, and He expects us to love others that way as well. He gives us a choice we don’t deserve. We have the option of death as the wages of sin, (For the wages of sin is death… Romans 6:23a), or death to our self (sin) and eternal life in Him. (...but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23b) We only deserve death, but He loved us enough to gift us eternal life, if we choose to accept it. That is the unconditional love that He loved us with so we would follow His example and love others the way He loved us. 

Jesus didn’t just share a meal with them that night, He washed their feet, a beautiful display of humility and servant leadership. As they sat and dined together, Jesus rose from the table and began to wash their feet.  The job of a slave. Peter was uncomfortable with Jesus washing his dirty feet.  I am sure he felt that Jesus was far too worthy, and he was way too unworthy to have the King of Kings touch his dirty feet.  I know I would feel the same way.  But Jesus told Peter that unless he let Jesus wash his feet, that he couldn’t be a part of His work.  Jesus was setting an example for them.  He instructed them to wash each other’s feet just as He has washed their feet.  He served those who serve Him.  This is the lesson of the least shall be the greatest and the greatest shall be the least. And Jesus wasn’t just setting an example, He was telling them to be humble and serve one another. This is how He expected them to treat each other after He left.  I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:16-17

After He washed their feet, Jesus explained to them that one of them would betray Him soon. They were all in a stir, each one positive that there is nothing that would ever make them betray their Lord. Jesus proceeded to tell them that the one who betrays Him will face serious consequences. They were consumed with trying to figure out which one of them Jesus was talking about.  Jesus revealed that it was Judas, whose feet He had just washed in humble service.  

Right up to the end of His life Jesus was setting the example of how we are supposed to live our lives and treat others. It is almost as if He was working hard that last week to get everything done that He needed to before He left. Life is relationships - Brother Van has said it so many times, and Jesus showed us with His whole life - His actions while He was here on earth and His sacrifice on the cross. How we treat others will be more important than any other accomplishment we will ever achieve. 


Who’s Your One Prayer Guide 33

But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.2 THESSALONIANS 2:13-14 CSB

Thank you for the opportunity to be source of encouragement to ____________________. I pray as we go through the Holy Week, their heart will be sensitive to the work of Christ for our salvation. Good Friday and Easter services will share the story of His amazing sacrifice and love displayed on the cross. Please give me opportunity and boldness to speak to them about attending services so they can experience the powerful worship of believers. Our Father, may they realize how much you truly love them and desire to save their souls and give them eternal life.

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