Today is Maundy Thursday.
Now, within the church circles to which I belonged, we never celebrated this day and the first time I knew it even existed was through my husband. As a civil servant, he is given an extra half-day holiday in recognition.
So what is Maundy Thursday?
Glad you asked. Because of my Easter-themed blog hop and to satisfy my curiosity, I decided to do a little research.
Maundy Thursday (aka Holy Thursday) is the day before Good Friday. It is the day when Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples.
That final meal shared together, is now known as the Last Supper and it was at this meal that Jesus broke bread and passed around a cup of wine, instituting a new covenant.
Today, Christians commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus by this same symbolic act of sharing bread and wine, traditionally known as Holy Communion.
And on this same day, Jesus, the Son of God (King of kings and Lord of lords), washed each of his disciples’ feet, as an example of humility and selfless service.
Maundy Thursday is also the day when Judas Iscariot, betrayed Christ.
As mentioned above, Maundy Thursday did not feature in our church programmes. So after many years as a Christian, once I became aware, even though I didn’t know what Maundy meant, I tried to make an educated guess regarding its definition.
I thought perhaps Maundy was an old-fashioned spelling for “mourn” and that the day was in fact a “mourn-day”. And when you consider everything that happened on this fateful day, I believe my ascribed meaning seems appropriate.
To begin with, Jesus appears to be in a state of mourning and trepidation. He knew that his hour had come.
Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour (John 12:27 NKJ).
Again, when he got to the Garden of Gethsemane, we read Jesus was in a state of agony. We learn his disciples were filled with sorrow over their Master’s revelations that he was leaving them… that he was about to die… that he was about to be betrayed by someone within their circle.
And then the unthinkable happens. The traitor in their midst is revealed. The hostile religious leaders have their day in court and the Son of God (the promised Messiah) is sentenced to death – “Crucify him!”
As Jesus is led away to Calvary, women “mourned and lamented him” (Luke 23:27 NKJ).
I guess you can see now where I was coming from.
However, the word Maundy (as I discovered), does not mean “mourn-day” but has its root in a Latin word meaning “command”. It makes reference to when Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment to love each other, as he had loved them (see John 13:1-35).
For the past few weeks, as I’ve spent time in God’s Word, as I’ve read and reflected on various passages relating to the cross, relating to God’s amazing love for the entire human race generally and for me specifically; as I watched two YouTube videos on the crucifixion and resurrection, I cannot help but feel overcome with emotion, with wonder, with gratitude, and with a greater desire and determination to love and serve God to the best of my ability and live an authentic Christian life, which pleases and honours him—because he (my Father-God), is worthy. Christ is worthy.
And between them, they’ve gone to an awful lot of trouble, unimaginable pain and selfless sacrifice to make me worthy.
Jesus suffered so that I can be redeemed from the hand of the Enemy. So I can be reconciled to God. So I can become a part of his illustrious royal family. So I can share in the spiritual riches of his kingdom. And so I can enjoy an abundant, joy-filled and liberated life.
After all my Father-God and Saviour have done for me, how can I not?
What say you dear reader?
CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com