Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

John 13:34 (NLT)
“So now I am giving you a new commandment:  Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”

What is Maundy Thursday, Anyway?  On the day before his crucifixion, Jesus gave us a mandate, or commandment, to follow. The word “command” comes from the Latin word, mandatum. A shortened form of this word is “maundy,” which is where we get the name for the commemorated day, “Maundy Thursday.” So, on this important “mandate day,” as we could think of it, what did Jesus say?

On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus gathered with his disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem where they intimately shared the last supper together.  During this time, Jesus also humbly washed his disciples’ feet. He told his them, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). After the meal, Jesus instituted the new covenant and told his disciples to remember.  He took bread, gave thanks to God, then broke it and said, “This is My body which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of Me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people-an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (Luke 22:19-20). Under this new covenant of grace, Jesus would die in place of sinners.  The old covenant was no longer needed (Hebrews 8:13). Jesus would bear the sin and death that belonged to all (Romans 6:23), including you and me. We were never worthy to be loved by Jesus, yet in perfect patience and love, and through his death on the cross, Jesus Christ gave us nothing less.  

 Later Jesus continued, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34). When we love each other, we show the world that we are disciples of Christ (John 13:35).  But I wonder at times, what the world sees of his disciples today? As we love our neighbors and the lost, let us not forget to love our fellow disciples. As a mother, and sibling rivalry occurs, I find myself reminding my children that we need to love and encourage one another because we are on the same team!  The world will be hard enough on us, and we don’t need to add to that struggle. We become more effective disciple makers as we walk and grow with one another, and as we encourage one another to touch lives with Christ’s love. It’s not easy to be a Christ follower in this world. Let us walk alongside and encourage each other.  Love each other.

So, on this day of Maundy Thursday, take time to remember the words and actions of Jesus and reflect:   Do I live in the freedom of the new covenant? Do I follow Christ’s example of humble, sacrificial love? To the lost? To other believers?   

Dear Lord, let me love others today with your patient, sacrificial love. You are Lord of my life, and that means I choose to follow Your example of how to love others.  Direct me in ways that I can love on and strengthen other fellow believers so we can be effective disciple makers. Bring other believers into my life that will encourage my walk with you. With your love, let me love others.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…”