Maundy Thursday: Passover Preparations (April 2, AD 33)
Matt 26:17-46; Mark 14:12-42; Luke 22:14-46; John 13-17
Thursday builds to a crescendo as Jesus and his followers make preparations to celebrate the Passover, one of the main reasons why they came to Jerusalem in the first place. John, in particular, gives a moving account of Jesus’ footwashing and final instructions to his disciples. Judas ominously leaves the Upper Room to betray Jesus to the Jewish authorities while Jesus talks to his followers about his imminent demise and subsequent return.
After celebrating the Passover and instituting the new covenant with his disciples—the new messianic community—Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane where he wrestles with the temptation to shrink back from going to the cross in prayer to the Father. He resolutely rejects any such temptation: “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). The stage is set for Jesus’ Jewish and Roman trials which pave the way for his cruel crucifixion.
By precept and example, Jesus taught his followers the duty to love one another as he loved them. How will this be accomplished? We should humbly serve one another and consider others as more important than ourselves. Is my life characterized by this kind of genuine humility and Christlike love? Actions speak louder than words. It’s a lot easier to profess orthodox doctrine than to act out Jesus’ command to love others, including our enemies. How can I be more Christlike?
Note: This is an excerpt from a blog that originally appeared on Songtime.com. You can view the original post here.