When I look at the events of Holy Week I think that beyond the death of Christ on the cross and beyond the resurrection there are things that Jesus was trying to teach us. When we look at the events of Maundy Thursday there are a few events that I see as teaching moments for Jesus, the last supper, the washing of the disciple’s feet, his prayer in the garden, and his arrest.
The events of the last supper are recorded in all the synoptic Gospel accounts.
In the events of the last supper, Jesus is calling for us to remember the awesome sacrifice that he was about to make for us. When we take communion in church it should never be something that we do just because it is what we do. Communion should have deep meaning for us because we are remembering the suffering and death of our savior. We remember that his suffering and death happened for us.
Jesus washing the disciple’s feet is recorded in the Gospel according to John 13:1-17. In this act of humility, Jesus is teaching us as Christians the importance of humility and service. He says to his disciples that as he has washed their feet, they are to wash each other feet. As Jesus humbled himself we are to humble ourselves. As Jesus served we are to serve.
Jesus praying in the garden is recorded in the synoptic Gospel.
When Jesus prays in the garden he models several things for us. First, he shows us that in our time of deepest agony we can and should go to the father. Second, he shows us the that we need to be willing to submit to the will of the father and be obedient to him. Jesus went to the father in agony and said “If it be possible let this cub pass from me” Than he submitted to the will of the father and said, “not my will, but your will be done.” As the Son went to the Father we can also go the the father. As the Son submitted to the will of the father, so should we.
I did a brief message about communion and foot washing for our Maundy Thursday here is the link to that message