The Meaning of Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday) is the day that we remember the Last Supper. It is the Thursday immediately preceding Easter. "Maundy" comes from the French word, "Mande," meaning "command" or "mandate", and has reference to the washing of the Apostles' feet by Christ on Thursday evening before His death, and the institution of the "Eucharist" (Lord's Supper, Last Supper, the Mass, Holy Communion). In the fourth century up to around 1754, a foot-washing ceremony was traditionally practiced by washing the feet of the poor and partaking of the "Mass" (Eucharist, Lord's Supper, Last Supper, Holy Communion).
The Last Supper was the Passover Supper (or Feast of the Unleaven Bread) eaten by Jesus and His disciples in the upper room. (See Luke 22:7-38) The Passover was a remembrance of the way God saved His people, Israel, when they were enslaved in Egypt. An unblemished lamb was used in the Passover meal, which was sacrificed to be eaten. The blood of the lamb was put on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where the lambs were eaten. (Exodus 12:1-20) Jesus said that he eagerly desired to eat that Passover meal with the disciples before he suffered. He explained that He would not eat the Passover meal again until the Passover finds its fulfillment in the kingdom of God.
We recognize Jesus as the Lamb of God, whose blood was shed to pay for our sins (the wages of sin being death and the life of a creature is in the blood). Jesus told His disciples, "This is My Body. This is My Blood." We recognize His Body and Blood in the sacrament of "The Lord's Supper" or "Holy Communion", as we take the Bread and Wine. The fulfillment of the Passover meal is the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9). The wedding supper refers to the day when Christ Jesus returns to bring His "Bride", the Church, to Himself on the Last Day. The Church refers to the body of believers who are saved through the gift of faith in the death and resurrection of our Lord, as our Savior. From that day for all eternity, the believers of all time will praise God in communion with Him.
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