Thursday. Four days after excited crowds welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem. One day before the horror of the crucifixion.
This is the day that tradition calls Maundy Thursday—the day of the Last Supper, the day that Jesus would wash his disciples’ feet; the day of the betrayal. It marks the beginning of the end of Holy Week, the first act in the divine drama that unfolds over the following three days. On Maundy Thursday, we’re getting close to the joyous celebration of Easter—it’s like a tiny speck of light at the end of a tunnel. But the next few days make for a long, bleak tunnel.
Here are two items to help you think through today’s significance:
- The Already Not Yet blog has been posting a series of Easter devotionals that walk through the major scenes of Holy Week. Today they offer a glimpse of the Last Supper—which they note is probably the most awkward social gathering in all of history (how would you react if the guest of honor accused somebody at the table of planning to betray him?). If you’ve not been following their devotional series this week, it’s worth heading over and getting caught up.
- At Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Jill Carattini focuses on one of the most curious events of Maundy Thursday: Jesus’s washing of the disciples’ feet. What is the significance of this act—and why would Jesus choose to do this, of all activities, on the very night he would be betrayed and condemned?
It’s Thursday, and at this point in the Easter drama, things are looking bleak. They’re going to look even worse tomorrow, on Good Friday, when all hope seems to die.
It’s a sobering thought. But as you ponder this, either at home or at a Maundy Thursday church service, don’t forget that Easter is coming.