5 Things You Need to Know About Maundy Thursday

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Abby Trivett

For the Christian community, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are two of the most widely celebrated days as we focus on what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection. However, Maundy Thursday is a key piece leading up to the events that happened on these two days. So, what exactly is Maundy Thursday?

Maundy Thursday is the day the first communion took place.

It was during the Passover feast that Jesus first showed the disciples how to remember the sacrifice He would make on the cross by taking communion.

“As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take and eat. This is My body. Then He took the cup, and after He gave thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you. For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for the many for the remission of sins,'” (Matt. 26:26-27).

While the disciples may not have understood what that meant at the time, it would all make sense later as they would see Jesus’ body broken and His blood poured out on the cross for them.

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Maundy Thursday is the night when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.

While Peter especially did not want Jesus to wash his feet, Jesus did this as a symbol to remind His followers that the Son of man came to serve, not to be served. It was a testament of what He was about to do by going to the cross on their behalf, a reminder that there is no greater honor than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. It also symbolized that it is through Jesus and Jesus alone that we are washed clean of our sins and transgressions.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands and that He came from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside His garments, and took a towel and wrapped Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was wrapped,” (John 13:3-5).

Maundy Thursday is the night of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane.

Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane is known for His transparency with the Father as He asked His heavenly Father to take away the cup He had been given. Jesus knew the weight placed on Him was one that no other person could carry—the full measure of the sins of the world. The agony that was to come was so great, that Jesus even sweat blood. Yet, in this moment, being fully God and fully man, He chose to submit Himself to the Father’s will, not for His own sake, but for the sake of mankind that we might be saved from eternal separation with God.

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“He prayed, ‘O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done,'” (Matt. 26:42).

This is the night when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Judas brought a crowd of people representing the chief priests to arrest Jesus, and he showed them that Jesus was the one to arrest by giving Him a kiss.

“Now he who betrayed Him had given them a sign saying, ‘Whomever I shall kiss is the Man. Seize Him.’ He immediately came to Jesus and said, ‘Hail Rabbi!’ and kissed Him.” (Matt. 26:48-49).

Judas, later seeing what he had done by betraying Jesus gave back the money to the chief priests and then went and hung himself. The priests then took the money and purchased potter’s field, all of this fulfilling prophecy by the prophet Jeremiah, which read:

“They took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of that the sons of Israel set on Him, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me,” (Matt. 27:9-10).

Maundy Thursday is the day when Peter denied Jesus three times.

Peter never thought he would do something as significant as deny Jesus. He had already come to know Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the One who the Jewish people had waited for. Yet, just as Jesus told Peter, he would deny the Son of God three times before the rooster crowed. This just shows exactly how sinful and how far away the human heart truly is from God, the entire purpose as to why Jesus had to come. After Peter denied Jesus the third time, he immediately remembered that Jesus told him he would do this.

“Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ Then he went out and wept bitterly,” (Matt. 26:75).

Maundy Thursday is a tough, but significant day in Scripture. Because of the events that happened this day leading up to the crucifixion, the resurrection became possible. As you remember the goodness of the Lord on this day, this is a time to reflect on all that Jesus went through so that we could have eternal life and victory.

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Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator for Charisma Media.

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