“Did you say Monday Thursday? ”
“No. Mawwwndee Thursday.”
Maundy Thursday is a significant day for Christians. Why? Well, that’s what this blog post is for. I’m going to go through what the day meant for the disciples of Jesus and the church today.
The word “Maundy” [mawn-dee] is taken from the latin word, “Mandatum”, meaning to command, or commandment. If you look up maundy in the dictionary, however, you’ll see it is actually a noun that refers to a ceremony of washing the feet of the poor.
So how does a command and washing feet relate? That is exactly what’s so significant about Maundy Thursday. See, it’s on this day that we celebrate the Last Supper and the moment occasion when the Lord,Jesus Christ, washed His disciples feet. Let’s start with the significance of the Last Supper…
The Last Supper is significant, first, because of it being the institution of what we call the Holy Eucharist, communion, and the Lord’s table. We still celebrate the work of Christ through this corporate act in the majority Christian churches today, and rightfully so. This moment, which can be read in it’s entirety in Luke 22, is the celebration of the passover feast. This is so important to mention, because the Passover is the Jewish Holiday that reflected and celebrated the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt so many years prior.
After the supper, Jesus then washes the disciples feet and informs the group that one of them will betray Him. At the time they all denied it would be them but, as we know today, Judas Iscariot is the man who betrayed Jesus for money shortly after this meeting. Jesus washing the feet of the disciples is important, because it was Jesus’ portrayal of ‘servant leadership’ by taking on the role of a servant while continue to teach, lead, and care for the disciples. Jesus was teaching the men how to serve, rather than be served himself, which goes along with everything we know of Jesus prior to this. It’s one thing to love another person, but to actually submit to serving and caring for them is so much more, and that’s what Jesus wants us to learn from this. The account of Jesus Washing the feet of the disciples can be found in John 13.
“And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
This is it. This was the lesson he wanted the disciples to understand, and it’s exactly what we need to understand today. Throughout His entire life, Christ served. He loved those who others failed to love, He cared for the sick and poor, He did no wrong, and even when He should have been entitled to someone else washing His own feet, He got down and cared for the disciples in one last act of servant leadership by washing their feet. He commands us to love as He loved us, and quite honestly, I believe that’s that’s just the beginning of what we are called to do to honor Him.