Tag Archives: Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday… Why Bother?

Maundy Thursday 2Growing up in the Catholic Church I’m sure we attended on some of the days that are special according to the church calendar but I don’t recall. Then in my late teens I surrender my life to Christ Jesus and was part of an independent Christian Church that didn’t observe such days except for Easter and Christmas.

Fast forward three decades and for the last few years I’ve pastored a church that does participate in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services; and I’ve come to appreciate them very much.

Enduring a power outage gives you a new appreciation for electricity and all the comforts that come with it. And not surprisingly, the longer our gap of no power lasts, the greater our appreciation for it grows.

New depths of disappointment tend to be followed by new heights of joy.

In a similar way, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday develop in us a greater appreciation for Easter. They are opportunities for us to experience and contemplate some of what the disciples must have experienced with Jesus during His final hours …

  • Their excitement of gathering together for the Passover Meal, wondering if Jesus was about to take the throne and restore Israel to a state of independence…
  • Their uncertainty when Jesus led them to the garden to pray …
  • Their shock when Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested like a common criminal…
  • Their disbelief and utter horror as their teacher, the one they’d left everything to follow, was being tortured and nailed to a cross…

But then Sunday comes and with it the empty grave! How can we begin to describe the powerful emotions that must have swept over them with all that was going on?

Making time to participate in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services helps to develop in us an even greater appreciation for Easter and the hope that was born again when Jesus conquered death!

Find some services at a church near you or locate some resources online to reflect on what took place so many years ago. And then celebrate Easter like never before!

***

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Good Friday, Jesus, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Why didn’t Jesus warn them?

“The disciples weren’t sure what was happening next, why should you be?”

That’s what I asked those who joined us last week for our Maundy Thursday Service to celebrate and remember the Last Supper – the Passover meal that Jesus shared with His disciples just before being arrested. We used no bulletin; no list of what was coming next.

We read Scripture with the advantage of hindsight but forget that the disciples were living it out moment-by-moment. Details that are crystal clear to us were not so obvious to them. I think that’s why they were so shocked at Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.

Sure they grew up hearing the prophecies of old about how the Messiah must suffer and die. Sure they spent three years doing life with Jesus and heard Him speak of His impending death – on more than one occasion. And yet they were caught off guard!

John does admit that there was more that Jesus did than what we have recorded (John 20:30). Maybe He did pull them aside and lay it all out for them with something like:

“Listen guys – I’m going to be arrested, run through a mock trial, tortured beyond recognition and then crucified. But don’t sweat it because three days later I will rise from the dead just like you saw happen with Lazarus. So go with the flow because it all turns out OK in the end.”

Is it possible? Sure! Is it likely? No! Why didn’t Jesus warn them? Why didn’t He make it easier to understand so that they wouldn’t get so distraught? In a word…

…FAITH!

He was growing their faith! If they’d known everything that was going to happen, that everything was going to be alright, they wouldn’t have been stretched and grown in their trust of God. Not knowing where circumstances are headed and still trusting God to be in control requires faith.

Jesus was preparing to unleash them on the world to carry out His kingdom agenda. They were going to be used by God to spread the good news of His grace and truth; and that would require great faith.

So what circumstance of life is God using right now in your life to grow your faith?

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Filed under Easter, Faith, Jesus, Suffering, Trusting God