Holy Week: Maundy Thursday
The phrase “maundy” comes from the Latin “mandatum” or “commandment” referring to Jesus’ words on this day in Holy Week:
“a new commandment I give to you.”John 13:34
Love. This is Jesus’ “new” commandment. Love has always been the commandment of God going back to the Old Testament law: love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). So what is new about it? What is “new” about Jesus’ commandment is that His disciples are to love each other “just as I have loved you.” The newness is found in Jesus’ own deepening and transformation of the call to love through His own teaching and example.
How does Jesus love? He washes feet (John 13:1-20). He lays down His life for His friends who were once His enemies (John 15:13). He calls sinners His friends, shows them His Father, and grants them access to the fellowship of the Triune God through the Spirit (John 15:14-15; 16:5-15). He pours Himself out in prayer for His people (John 17).
Friends, Jesus pours out this same love for you and for me (He even prays specifically for us in John 17:20-26). This love is not only exactly what we need, but it transforms us.
Today, receive Jesus’ great love for you. Rest in it. Be transformed by it. Because of Jesus, you are a friend of God — you are His beloved child. Out of that accepted and loved place, serve your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your community out of the Spirit’s power — as He sanctifies you in the truth and empowers you for that very service.
Today, there are many challenges ahead of us and our burdens are heavy. In all of this, Jesus is with you in His love — walking with you as Immanuel “God with us.” He will serve you as you serve Him.
“[Jesus] having loved His own…He loved them to the end.”John 13:1b