Maundy Thursday Explained
Beloved, In our Christian world we use terms all the time that not everyone would know.
Today's title of Maundy Thursday is no different.
If you are like me and most people we look on with curiosity and then do the research.
Today is the Thursday before the great celebration of Easter or Resurrection Day.
It has great meaning to us believers and let me share why.
Maundy Thursday is the day that we get to see a great example of humility and love.
We can search in Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John to see Jesus sitting among the least of these and treating them with such honor.
We see Jesus living out what it means to live as a Christian, a follower of Jesus, to be one who loves and is willing to serve.
This Maundy Thursday commemorates the Washing of the Feet and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, as described in the canonical gospels. These two humble events are where we see Jesus as man, like us, and yet we know the power He holds in the form of being the Son of God.
He bends down to wash the disciple's feet, breaks bread with them, and then gives them a command that they will know is impossible without God.
As a side note, if you long to be great in the upside-down kingdom be prepared to wash some feet. (Bad grammar, I know.) Teachers, Pharisees, back then thought of those that they taught as lower than their superior status and treated them as such. This act of kindness of Jesus was radical. To be like Christ is to humble yourself even to those that you disciple hoping they learn humility first and foremost.
Back to the question of what today is ~
It is the fifth day of Holy Week, preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.
Here is a little word study for you to understand more.
The Thursday before Easter is known as either Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. Maundy is derived from the Latin word for "command," and refers to Jesus' commandment to the disciples to "Love one another as I have loved you.”
Maundy Thursday can also be known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, among other names, is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter.
Now you know!
This command, "Love one another as I have loved you.”, is what we as believers in Jesus should base everything we do on. Are we loving one another well? Are we loving in such a way that others see Jesus?
Are we being His body, a unified body of love overflowing love to the world?
The truth and grace are that this is possible through our example, Jesus.
For some interesting facts, let's look at what they would have eaten.
According to traditions their Passover meal would have included cholent, a stewed dish of beans cooked very low and slow, olives with hyssop, a herb with a mint-like taste, bitter herbs with pistachios and date charoset, a chunky fruit and nut paste.
Bitter herbs and charoset are typical of Passover, cholent is eaten during festivities, while hyssop was also consumed on a daily basis. The Gospel of Mark and Luke notes that the Last Supper took place during the “feast…of unleavened bread.” If so, there would have been much more on the table.
If you have never done a meal like this, it is called a Seder meal, try it with your family. There are many resources out there to walk you through it. Here is the definition of a Seder Meal if you have never heard of it.
Definition of a seder~
a Jewish home or community service including a ceremonial dinner held on the first or first and second evenings of the Passover in commemoration of the exodus from Egypt.
Now you know!
I hope you will enjoy your Maundy Thursday with more of an understanding of the events that we glean so much from. May you go and have the Lord’s Supper with a deeper understanding of what Jesus is inviting you into. May we humble ourselves in order to serve one another in love.