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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1021. Maundy Thursday - Be washed, be filled, be at peace (28/3/24)

During this Easter Week, I thought that it would be helpful to look at some of the events and teaching on each day running up to Resurrection Sunday - The Greatest Day! Today we look at some of the events of Easter Thursday - ‘Maundy Thursday’. 


Lesson: Jesus, through His suffering and death, has washed us of sin and opens the way for us to be filled with His presence by the Spirit who fills us with peace. 


You can listen to this devotional below (It’s also available on Spotify on the Community Church Putney podcast) 



Traditionally known as Maundy Thursday - Maundy means ‘to wash’. On the ‘first day of Passover’ they ate the Passover meal (‘The last supper’) and Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and promises them cleansing from sin, the presence of the Spirit and a peace that fills and sustains us in our darkest days. 


i. Jesus Our Passover Lamb

'On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’”  So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.’ (Matthew 26:17-19)

Jesus’ death happening at Passover teaches us that Jesus is our 'Passover Lamb'. He is perfect, He removes the 'yeast' (sin) from our lives. He died in our place, to purchase our freedom. It's His blood that covers and saves us from the wrath of God; because of Jesus, judgement ‘passes over’ us in mercy.


ii. This is my body…my blood 

‘While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’ (Matthew 26:26-28)

Jesus uses the Passover meal to teach about Himself. Whilst never forgetting the original context of escape from Egypt, He shows that His death on the cross is the ‘fulfilment’ of what this event foreshadowed. For Christians, The Lord’s Supper is the only ‘feast’ that we are commanded to keep; not yearly, but ‘as often as you eat and drink of it’ (1 Cor. 11:23-26) - which means very regularly! This meal reminds us of our being washed and cleansed of sin through Jesus’ suffering and death. 


iii. Jesus Has Washed Us

In chapter 12, John writes of Mary anointing Jesus’s feet with expensive perfume and wiping them away with her hair. Now, like Mary, Jesus the King is seen to wash feet!

‘The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.’ (John 13:2-5) 

Culturally, we are to be shocked by Mary; however, may we also not lose the shock of Jesus washing feet! Further, may we never lose the amazement that our God and King has washed our sins away as He was humiliated still further by the cross. 


iv. The promise of the Spirit

During ‘The Last Supper’ Jesus comforts His disciples by reassuring them of the promise of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of teaching and peace in their lives. 

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ (John 14:25-27)

Jesus, not only does He provide redemption through his body and blood, He also empowers us to live for Him and enjoy His peace in the sufferings of this life. 


v. Gethsemane 

On what is traditionally known as Maundy Thursday (Maundy means ‘to wash’) Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his arrest. 

‘Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”’ (Matthew 26:38-41) 

Jesus is ‘overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.’ Jesus is full of dread because He is about to ‘drink the cup’ of our sin, which will enable us to be washed. Jesus the sinless one is going to become sin for us. Jesus went to the cross as our substitute. 


Response - Be washed, be filled, be at peace

Jesus, through His suffering and death, has washed us of sin, and opens the way for us to be filled with His presence by the Spirit who fills us with peace. On this Maundy Thursday, let’s be reminded of how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet as an object lesson in how He will wash them through His suffering and death. Let’s also see that He, through the cleansing achieved by the cross, comes and fills and dwells in us by the Spirit, so that we can experience what Jesus’ promises regarding the Spirit’s gift: 

‘“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”’


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals which is accessed in Church News or the Teaching button on the website. 

In particular, please ensure that you know the details and arrange travel for our Good Friday walk. 

Please also be praying for and inviting to next week’s Easter service. 



2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message from our series in Luke on Sunday was entitled, The harvest is plentiful, the workers are few - Jesus sends out the Seventy-Two (Luke 10:1-24). In this section, as Jesus heads for Jerusalem, Jesus continues to teach His disciples about the mission that they are on, and the harvest that they are to be involved with. 


Please read Luke 10:1-24, and discuss: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • What did Jesus say about the harvest and how are we to respond?

  • What did Jesus say about the workers and why is this the case? 

  • How is prayer important to the success of evangelism?

  • How often do you pray about your and the church’s effectiveness in evangelism? Do you have a list of friends that you are praying for?

  • What is the message that we are to ‘sow’?

  • What is a ‘person of peace’ and who are they in our lives?

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that’s come out of our time in God’s Word.

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