As I sit down to write this message, there is a sense of uncertainty in the air, which has sadly become commonplace every time a major holiday is upon us. In many ways, it seems the cares of this world are on overdrive to pull us away from the essence of why and whom we are celebrating: Jesus.
During my devotional time this morning, I was reminded of the meaning of Maundy Thursday. For those of you who are familiar with the term, please bear with me. John Piper shares that the term is “from the Latin mandatum, the first word in the Latin rendering of John 13:34 that says, ‘A new commandment (mandatum novum) I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.’ This commandment was given by Jesus on the Thursday before the crucifixion.”
There is a direct correlation between this commandment and what Jesus gave as the Greatest Commandment, “To love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves.” It is difficult for us to imagine a greater act of sacrificial love than literally give up your entire life and die in the place of your friend. Jesus went even further in that he died for us while we were still sinners and His enemies, in order that we could become His friend.
Today during chapel, (click here for a copy of chapel) Mr. Bezuyn spoke about the Lord’s Supper and Communion. This was a great reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, but also of how God desires for us to love each other by being in community and sharing in His death. We are “One body” in Him and therefore called to love and care for each other, even to the point of sacrificing our comforts and rights for the sake of others.
John Piper concludes, “He loved us to the uttermost. And let us be so moved by this love that it becomes our own. ‘He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.’ This is the commandment”.
May God bless you and your family, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior!