Today is a significant day, as it is “Maundy Thursday,” a.k.a. Holy Thursday. The word “Maundy” is from the Latin word “mandatum,” which translates to mean “commandment” according to thefreedictionary.com. Therefore Maundy Thursday essentially means Commandment Thursday. As Christians it is important to know why this day holds such significance.
Picture this….Jesus and the disciples are gathered in the Upper Room to partake in Passover Feast. Jesus already knew that His time had come to leave them and return to His Father in heaven. Time was of the essence, just as it is now in these last days. Jesus was in His final days; His last days on earth. He had things which He needed to share and impart into them before His departure. Jesus needed to ensure the disciples understood the vastness and full extent of His love towards them. So Jesus led by example when He humbly and unselfishly washed the feet of His disciples. He performed this outward expression of His love for the disciples so they could learn the importance of serving one another in love. Just like when we Christians partake in “water baptism.” Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. Jesus was and still remains the perfect example servant leadership.
Think about this….Jesus Christ knew time was running out to be with His disciples in the flesh. Yet He MADE time for others. John chapter 13 verse 4 mentions that Jesus ‘laid aside his garments and took a servant’s towel which he fastened around his waist.’ I believe the scriptures mention him laying aside his garments during such a critical hour, because the Lord wanted His disciples then and His disciples now to see something clearly. Whenever our life situations and circumstances are in chaos we begin to wear the pressure as a weighty garment upon our shoulders. If we allow it, our focus can shift inward to ourselves and the overwhelming weight of the problem. We are busy anticipating in our mind possible scenarios of “what if” this happens or “what if” that occurs. But just think if Jesus had decided on the very night of Maundy Thursday to keep his mind focused on what was about to happen to him in the coming days, hours, and minutes. He knew he was destined to die for us, yet he had a “commandment” to deliver in the Upper Room before he departed. A “commandment” of selfless service and genuine love which He needed to release in action first then followed up with decreeing it through His words. So for years to come Christ followers would know that love expressed in service to others should take precedence over anything we may be dealing with. It is time to set some things aside.
In John Chapter 13:14-15, Jesus says, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” (NKJV)
The Lord gave me a deeper revelation of the sacred act of Jesus washing the disciples feet with water. The Lord revealed how this was a foreshadow of what was to happen at the cross——->SHOUT GLORY TO GOD!!!!) There would be a complete washing away of the sin, filth, sickness, and disease in our lives by the precious Blood of Jesus which was shed on the cross.
The lowest part of one’s body is the feet. Our feet are designed to carry the weight of our body around. Imagine how the disciples must have felt looking down at the sandals they wore on their feet. Visibly they could see the layers of dust on the exposed part of their feet not covered by their sandals. An accumulation of dirt, from every place they had been that day. Scars, scrapes, and perhaps even some blisters which they had acquired somewhere on the journey as disciples of Christ. Surely the thought crossed some of their minds, “How can I allow Jesus, The Son of God, see the awful shape my feet are in, they are a mess, and what if I take these sandals off and the smell is repulsive?” WOW!!! Does any of that sound familiar, can’t we relate or find ourselves in that story? How about if we make an exchange and momentarily substitute picturing our lives in place of the feet example. Take a very brief moment to contemplate the dirt built up in your life over the years, how about the junk accumulated from past relationships that did not work out. Now just think as the Jesus wiped the feet of His servants the dirt came off, and later when His Blood was shed the “dirt” was removed from your life and my life. It was a finished work at the cross.
Maundy Thursday set into motion how we must put our stuff aside to do that what the Lord has called and chosen us to do. Jesus set aside time amidst all that was about to transpire, and he laid it all aside to give His disciples a precursor gift of sacrificial love through His service rendered unto them. Even as He knew His time was nearing, He did not allow that to sidetrack Him from what He needed to impart into His beloved disciples. He ultimately did it all for you and for me.
In the end, our focus must be on staying the course, serving God with everything we have, dying to self, and sharing His love. My Co-Pastor and Spiritual Mom, Co-Pastor Elena Robertson, recently said from the pulpit, “Somebody else is depending on you.” Can God trust you to take the focus off of yourself, and shift your focus to where He wants it? Can you drop your agenda, and pick up God’s agenda?