What is Maundy Thursday? Why is this day important for the world?
Maundy is a shortened form of the Latin word mandatum meaning ‘command’. So today we celebrate and reflect on Christ’s commandment to the disciples at the Last Supper.
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
To truly understand this command, one must first understand the context at which it was made. Jesus’ time had come. Death was just around the corner, but His mission was not complete. He had much to say and do as He prepared for Calvary.
This is why John 13 is so astounding. Jesus was hours from death, but that didn’t distract Him from imparting wisdom and love to the disciples.
Love wasn’t just a word, feeling, or mere action for Christ. Instead, this was to be the staple of His people. Loving the others in our life was to be an identifying factor for those that followed Him. This is a remarkable truth, but the truly amazing part of this truth is that love was to be granted to all, not just those in our circle.
This is what Jesus illustrated as He filled a basin with water and washed the feet of His disciples. They were shocked to see their Leader in this position. The One that was to save the world was now lowering Himself to a foot washer.
As if this wasn’t shocking enough, Jesus would also wash the feet of the one who would, in a few hours, betray Him. Yes, Jesus even washed the feet of Judas.
The Leader of all leaders, the King of all kings, and the Savior of the world saw fit to love and serve those He was sent to save.
Jesus didn’t let an ego drive Him. He didn’t focus on what He could gain or what power He could wield. Instead, he was driven by love – love of God and love of people.
As you reflect this week on Christ’s death and resurrection, I would implore you to remember this wonderful passage in John when the King became the servant. Let’s follow His lead today!
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center