Christ’s “mandate” is commemorated on Maundy Thursday—“maundy” being a shortened form of mandatum (Latin), which means “command.” It was on the Thursday of Christ’s final week before being crucified and resurrected that He said these words to his disciples:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).
It is a solemn time for people of Faith. Jesus supped with his disciples, washed their feet and warned them of what was about to come. In our rush to move to Sunday with the anticipation of Christ’s resurrection we can miss this critical moment in time.
Several years ago I was asked to play THE part for our church’s dramatic presentation of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday. I memorized and recited the John 16 passage, word for word, verse by verse. Through that exercise I lived the Last Supper in my mind and with my co-actors. It became more and more real to me the closer we approached the evening of the performance.
I remember the solemn posture I took as I embodied His words. I imagined the humility that was required of Jesus that night. The fear that must have surrounded his thoughts. But in the midst of all of that, he embodied the essence of his life in a new command: “that you love one another: just as I have loved you.” A message our world so desperately needs to embrace today!
As we pause to reflect today on what Jesus did, let’s not forget His exhortation to pass on the love that comes through His life, His grace and His love.