Welcome To Passion Week (Part 2)
PALM SUNDAY – MATTHEW 21:1-11 HOLY TUESDAY – JOHN 13:21-38 HOLY WEDNESDAY – MATTHEW 26:14-25
MAUNDY THURSDAY – JOHN 18:1-29
In the time in which our Lord walked upon the earth, He established the local New Testament church and many other ordinances. However, what most people, know of the Gospel story is the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus. This is the most important part of our faith. This is what many regard as a Cardinal doctrine, which simply means, “without this, it would collapse”. We must take time to remember this most sacred time and give reverence to God for sending His son to take our place. Welcome to Holy Week!
Maundy Thursday is observed during Holy Week on the Thursday before Easter. Also referred to as “Holy Thursday” or “Great Thursday” in some Christian denominations, Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified. In contrast to joyful Easter celebrations when Christians worship their resurrected Savior, Maundy Thursday services are typically more solemn occasions, marked by the shadow of Jesus’ betrayal.
While different denominations observe Maundy Thursday in their own distinct ways, two important biblical events are the primary focus of Maundy Thursday solemnizations:
Before the Passover meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. By performing this lowly act of service, the Bible says in John 13:1 that Jesus “showed them the full extent of his love.” By his example, Jesus demonstrated how Christians are to love one another through humble service.
What does Maundy mean?
The Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” Maundy refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice. In this we find that our text today reflects this in the gospel of: John 18:1-29
“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he:if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath:the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple:that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold:and they warmed themselves:and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them:behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil:but if well, why smitest thou me? Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again:and immediately the cock crew.
Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment:and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man.”
Jesus reminded the disciples to love each other with humility even as he was betrayed by one of the very ones He told the other disciples to love. Why?
A. God Loves Us
The bible is full of applications and actual verses where God’s love is illustrated for humanity. We all know John 3:16 as the gospel in a nutshell:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” However, few ever read one verse further to see more proof of God’s love for us. John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” God is NOT an almighty being in heaven waiting for us to mess up and then punish us. Jesus is NOT come into the world to make people die and go to hell, but to remind them that they don’t have to if they trust in Him. God loves us and this is why He sent Himself in the form of a man to die the death that we deserve because we messed up and disobeyed Him. Since a man broke the law of God and ruined it for everybody, man had to die as a result. Jesus came down to satisfy God’s Justice. Only, a perfect man, from God could keep the law of God to redeem us to God. Listen, I don’t understand it nor can I scientifically explain it but I believe in the realm of faith. God Loves You too but just because He loves you, that doesn’t give you a free pass to heaven. You have to accept His love by excepting Jesus as your savior. Have you done that today?
B. God Made Us Like Himself
The bible explains, in the creation account, how God formed mankind after himself. We aren’t gods like modern humanity will lead you to believe, but we are a trichotomy. This means that we are three in one just life the bible defines the deity of God. We know it as
God: The Father, The Son & The Holy Ghost
Neither of these have more power than the next. They are all co-equal and all powerful. In like manner man-kind has the same trichotomy.
Man: Spirit, Soul & Body
However, since the Garden of Eden, mankind has all been born spiritually dead. That’s why we must be “Born-Again”. God wants us to be with Him just as Adam and Eve were in the garden before the fall of humanity. However, because of spiritual death and disobedience God cannot fellowship with us as He did back then. This is why He sends angels to communicate to mankind or He communicates indirectly to man. If we were to see God and all His glory, it would literally consume and scare us to death. However, Jesus came down in skin form to show mankind that God is loving and ever willing to redeem man. God, willing to redeem mankind to Himself, sent Himself down in human form like we are to save us from sin and death. Have you excepted His gift, Jesus?
C. God Made You: Then He Burned The Blueprints and Broke The Mold
Many people have trouble seeing themselves as a unique and individually made person by God. The bible gives us this admonishment “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalms 139:14 KJV. God made you for a specific purpose and to reach specific people. He has given each of us unique qualities in order to reach, respond to and relate to people that many others cannot. If we neglect the gift that God has given to us we miss out on finding the fulfillment and purpose for which we were made.
People often ask, why am I here and I tell them “Before you ask that question, find out what it is that you have been created to do, and then you find the answer you seek.” It all comes back to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. We cannot understand why God did what he did, but we can know that His sacrifice is NOT in vain. On this Maundy Thursday, remember how He was betrayed. Remember how He suffered and died for you and How He showed love in humility. In tomorrows devotionals we will explain the significance of Good Friday and what it means. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.