Today is Maundy Thursday. Have you ever wondered what that means? Or what is significant about this day?
What is Maundy Thursday?
Maundy Thursday occurs the Thursday before Easter and commemorates the Last Supper of our Lord. On the day before Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus and the Disciples met in the upper room to take the Last Supper, which occurred on the day of Unleavened Bread (Luke 22:7). The day when the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed (Luke 22:7).
If you remember, the Passover was instituted during the Exodus event (Ex 12:14). Before God brought Israel out of Egypt, a final plague was delivered on the Egyptians. God declared that every firstborn in the land would be killed unless the blood of a lamb was smeared on the doorposts and lintel of their homes. As the Lord passed through the land, He would Passover the houses with the blood, while executing judgment on those who did not have the blood on the doorposts and lintel.
That night, at twilight, a lamb was to be slain and its blood spread on the doorposts and lintels, while its body was roasted to eat. As the Israelites waited, they were to eat the roasted lamb, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread with their belt fastened, sandals on their feet, and their staff in hand. In other words, they were to be ready to leave as they watched and waited on the deliverance of the Lord.
That night, the Lord passed through the land killing the firstborn of all who did not have the blood smeared on their doorposts and lintel. After which, the Exodus of Israel from Egypt occurred. At that time, the Israelites were delivered from the bondage and slavery of Egypt and set free to worship their God.
Jesus Re-institutes the Passover
In order to commemorate the Exodus, the feast of Unleavened Bread was instituted. It was this feast that the disciples and Jesus were celebrating. But something new was happening during the celebration. Jesus takes the wine and says that it represents His blood (Luke 22:20). He takes the bread and says it represents His body (Luke 22:19). At this time, Jesus was re-instituting the Passover Meal around Himself. In other words, He was telling the disciples that He would be the one to deliver His people from the slavery and bondage of sin, through a New Exodus (Eze 20:32-38; 37:15-28; Jer 16:14-15; Isa 40:1-13; 62:10-12). Thus, instituting a new covenant with His blood that would provide all who believed in Him with a new heart (Jer 31:31).
Taking the Lord’s Supper
When we take the Lord’s Supper tonight, in celebration of Maundy Thursday, we should take it in a state of celebration for Jesus’ work on the cross because it is His sacrifice that delivers us from the bondage of sin.
We also should take the Lord’s Supper with the same expectation and hope as the Israelites in Egypt. They were in a state of expectation, waiting and watching for the Lord’s deliverance as they ate their meal. We too, as we take the Supper, must wait in a state of expectation for our Lord’s return. We too must watch and be ready for Him to lead us in a final Exodus.