Take Time to Remember
We aren't so good today at connecting ourselves with those who have gone before us. We tend to be ardently individualistic. We champion the "self-made-man" mentality. On top of that, life is so busy that we seldom take time to reflect on yesterday - much less events that happened nearly 2000 years ago. But for followers of Jesus, remembering the events that took place on Maundy Thursday is massively significant. Let's briefly rehearse the events of this day together:
- Passover - it was on this day that the Jewish people partook in the Passover meal. It was an annual act of rememberance, for YHWH had delivered them from the Egyptians. Passover was a time to both remember and celebrate the single greatest act of salvation in the Old Testament. It was also suppose to point the Jewish people to the Greater Deliverer who would one day come - Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:17-29).
- Betrayal Part 1 - it was on this day that Judas betrayed Jesus. And what is even more, Jesus told the twelve disciples on this day that one of them would betray Him (Matthew 26:21-25).
- Denial Part 1 - it was on this day that Jesus told all the twelve that they would deny Him. Of course they affirmed their loyalty, but Jesus knew that within a few hours, they would all turn away from Him (Matthew 26:30-35).
- Earnest Prayer - it was on this day that Jesus went to Gethsemane for the last time to pray. He would cry out to His Father one more time in this sacred place. He would cry out in humble submission to the Father's good plan (Matthew 26:36-46).
- Betrayal Part 2 - it was on this day that Judas would come at night to Gathesemane and publically betray Jesus. The irony of this story is profound, for everyone knew exactly who Jesus was (His identity was no secret). But, so that all Scripture would be fulfilled, Judas betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56).
- The Beginning of the End - it was on this day that Jesus stood before the high priest, Caiaphas. Of all poeple, Caiaphas knew the Old Testament. Caiaphas knew the prophecies. Caiaphas should have been looking for the Messiah. Caiaphas should have led Israel in a national repetance. But Caiaphas led the mob in the trumped up, straw-man, faulty, baseless charges against the very Messiah he should have been worshipping (Matthew 26:57-68).
- Denial Part 2 - it was on this day that Peter vehemently denied Jesus. Don't forget, all the disciples left him (Matthew 26:56). But Peter's leaving and denial is recorded for us in great detail. Just hours before he proclaimed his allegiance to the Savior, but now his faith is rocked (Matthew 26:69-75).
In case you're wondering, this day has been called Maundy Thursday because the word maundy comes from a latin word that means commandment. And if you remember, Jesus washed his disciples feet at that Passover meal and he commanded the disciples to walk in such humility towards one another (John 13:15) - hence Maundy Thursday. Isn't it amazing that on the day that Jesus would be betrayed and delivered up to be crucified, His concern is still for His followers. He humbly serves them and then commands them to do likewise. What a Savior indeed!
On this Thursday, April 18 - 2019, root yourself in the beautiful history of this day. Take time to remember, rehearse, and rejoice in what took place so long ago. For the events of THAT day are the very reason that we can rejoice in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus!
Happy Maundy Thursday to all followers of Jesus -