A Montrose Church Lent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Lent Day 38 - Maundy Thursday
On His way to Calvary, Jesus is focused on the way of life to which He was calling His disciples. His kingdom isn’t about domination, retaliation, or judgment. His kingdom is about love. He says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (v. 34-35). It is the night of betrayal, denial, and fear on the part of His disciples, but Jesus isn’t focused on these things. He wants His disciples to know how much God loves them. So, Jesus wraps a towel around His waist, kneels before each of the men, and washes their feet. You heard that right – He washes their feet.
As the evening unfolds He will share bread and a cup with all of them, including Judas. He will speak about the meaning of His death and remind them that out of His death will come His resurrection. He will return to the Father, but in doing so He will send His Holy Spirit to continue the work of redemption in them. Judas’ heart is set, and not a thing Jesus did or said that night influenced him. Before the evening is over Peter will deny Him, the others will scatter, and the dark night of Calvary will grip them all. Jesus will die on the cross the next day, and the nightmare will escalate into the bewilderment and absolute silence of Saturday and the question, "why?"
What would you do the evening before the day you would die. Would you wash somebody’s feet? Would you eat a meal with twelve people whose loyalty is in question? Would you be among them when they fled away into the evening darkness? These questions are a bit unfair but, still, they are good questions. Who am I? What am I about? How do I live my days as a result of what happened in Jerusalem so many years ago? These questions are good questions for the Lenten season.
Once in a while it is good to stop and re-examine our lives. What does my faith in Jesus look like? How am I being shaped by the crucified and risen Lord? How comfortable or uncomfortable would I be if Jesus drew near me to wash my feet? How open to His ways am I? In this day when following Jesus can be a dangerous thing, how committed am I to go on record as being one of His disciples? Do I take Jesus seriously when He says, "Love one another?"
Whatever you remember on Thursday in Holy Week, please remember the words of Jesus, "Love one another.” Theologian Teilhard de Chardin said, "Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love; and then for the second time in the history of the world we will have discovered fire."
My brothers and sister, let us love one another.
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