Who Ever Heard of Maundy Thursday?

Monday, March 25, 2013

When I grew up, we always went to church on Maundy Thursday. It was an important day to my father, and it's an important day in my current denomination.

But many Christians don't even know what it is.

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper. That's when Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover meal in an upper room and Jesus initiated the Lord's Supper (also called "Holy Communion" and "the Eucharist"). The same meal where Jesus told his disciples that they were to serve one another and washed their feet as an example to them.

The commonly accepted derivation of the term "Maundy" is that it comes from the Latin word "mandatum," meaning mandate or commandment. After washing the disciples' feet, Jesus told them, "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 ESV)

Jesus left the upper room with a heavy heart. He knew he would be crucified the next day, but he did it for us because he was our servant.

And our Lord.

That's why I celebrate Maundy Thursday.

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The picture is called "Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples," and the artist is Nicolas Bertin. The painting was created sometime around 1720 or 1730 as an oil on panel.

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