Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
Holy Week: Maundy Thursday
You may have noticed that the plans we make may suddenly and unexpectedly change. Holy Week seemed to be progressing well as Jesus continued His ministry. However, an ill wind was blowing as Judas had met with the angry religious leaders and promised to make their wishes come true: for a price, he would betray Jesus to them. So things were about to change at warp speed that Maundy Thursday.
The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word “mandatum”; which means command. Accordingly, the Thursday before Jesus’ crucifixion is commemorated for the commands He gave: 1) to love one another, (Jn. 13: 33); 2) to wash one another’s feet, (Jn. 13:14); and 3) to observe “The Lord’s Supper”—the breaking of bread (representing Christ’s body), and wine (symbolizing His blood) (Mt. 26: 26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22: 19-20). Furthermore, it was the first of two days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the day for sacrificing the Passover lamb (Mk. 14: 12). It was a busy day as Jesus and the disciples prepared to eat the Passover meal together, (Mt. 26: 17-30; Mk. 14: 12-26; Lk. 22:7-38.
That evening they all gathered to eat and to enjoy the camaraderie. There was no servant present to provide the customary foot-washing prior to the meal, and the disciples were too busy arguing about their own importance (Lk. 22: 24) to wash the feet of the Messiah. Instead, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet; and when He finished He made it clear that His followers are called to serve others, (Jn. 13: 1-17). While they were eating, Jesus interjected that one of them would betray Him. The disciples didn’t know that Judas had sold his soul—and his Saviour-- for 30 pieces of silver. Great concern was evident as each asked, “Am I the one who will betray you, Lord?” Finally, it was Judas’ turn to ask, and Jesus replied, “Yes, you’re the one.” After they shared in “The Lord’s Supper”, they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives (Mt. 26: 30; Mk. 14:26; Lk. 22: 39), where Jesus asked the disciples to stay awake and pray while He went a little distance from them and agonized in prayer. And Judas, who had slipped away from supper, appeared in Gethsemane with soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees (Jn. 18:2-3), who would arrest Jesus. Judas approached Jesus, Who asked Judas if he came to betray Him with a kiss, a sign of friendship (Mt. 26: 47-56; Lk.22: 47-53; Mk. 14: 43-51; Jn. 18:1-11).
After Jesus was illegally arrested in secret, under the cover of darkness, He was taken for questioning to Annas, a high priest, and the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest (Jn. 18: 12-14; 19-23). Then Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas’ home where the Sanhedrin (i.e., the scribes, elders, and chief priests) had gathered, (Mt 26:57-75; Mk 14:53-72; Lk 22:54-71). By the end of this session of questioning, Peter had denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. The Sanhedrin reached a decision: Jesus’ deserved the death penalty.
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)