Holy Week Devotional - Maundy Thursday

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Reminder, we will be gathering for our Good Friday service tomorrow evening at 6pm in Burriss Hall. In honor of it being Good Friday, we would like to invite you to spend Friday fasting. Our goal for this fast is that we as a church family might take the time to remember and reflect on what Jesus did, in real time and space, and to let hunger help remind us of his suffering and sacrifice. We will break fast together tomorrow evening as we observe communion, and share a meal afterwards. We look forward to worshiping with you tomorrow!


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During Holy Week we will be emailing daily devotionals that reflect on what happened each day during Holy Week. We hope and pray the Lord uses these devotionals, and additional resources, to encourage you and grow you in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

These devotionals will be archived on our website, and can accessed here.

Please feel free to share any and all of these devotionals!


What Happened on Maundy Thursday?

Suggested Readings

Jesus instructs his disciples Peter and John to secure a large upper room in a house in Jerusalem and to prepare for the Passover meal
Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13

In the evening Jesus eats the Passover meal with the Twelve, tells them of the coming betrayal, and institutes the Lord’s Supper
Matthew 26:20-29; Mark 14:17-23; Luke 22:14-30

During supper Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, interacts with them, and delivers the Upper Room Discourse (Farewell Discourse)
John 13-17

Jesus and the disciples sing a hymn together, then depart to the Mount of Olives
Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39

Jesus predicts Peter’s denials
Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-34

Jesus issues final practical commands about supplies and provisions
Luke 22:35-38

Jesus and the disciples go to Gethsemane, where he struggles in prayer and they struggle to stay awake late into the night
Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46

Devotional

The Shepherd struck, the sheep scattered

After Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper, He and the disciples go to the Mount of Olives. The same Mount of Olives where scripture tells us David fled with his loyal followers, weeping and mourning over Absalom's attempt to overthrow David, his father, and take control of the kingdom. However, unlike David, who would be surrounded by loyal friends and followers during the conflict with Absalom, the Son of David is on the verge of being abandoned and rejected by those most close and dear to Him. The very ones Jesus just commended for how they stayed with Him in His trials and will one day "sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:28-30), are now about to be told they are going to deny Him.

Christ quotes to them Zechariah's prophecy, that God will strike the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter (Zechariah 13:7). Jesus displays His omniscience by declaring that prophecy is about to be fulfilled. Of course the disciples, led by Peter, contend with Jesus, trying to assure Him they will remain loyal, even unto death. But fulfillment of the prophecy starts to become evident almost right away in the garden when, even after hearing Jesus, their Friend, say "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death" they, Peter, James and John, Jesus' closest friends, chose sleep over honoring Jesus' request to "remain here and watch" (Mark 14:34).

The most humbling thing in all of this is remembering that Christ knew all of this would take place. Jesus told them this was going to happen. Jesus knew His closest friends were going to eventually abandon and deny Him, and that He was going to be "despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3) And that's why it's so humbling. In spite of knowing all of that, Jesus willingly endured all of this, knowing He would eventually be abandoned and fully alone.

See, in our flesh, we want to believe that deep down we are good enough, and that's the reason Jesus endured all of this. He saw our inner good buried deep within, and knew that His death would set it free, and that's what gave Him the needed motivation to finish what He came to do. But that's not how it happened. Jesus knows there is absolutely nothing good within in us (Romans 7:18) and that we rightly deserve all the pain, all the punishment, all the sorrow, all the anguish, and the death and wrath He was about to endure (Romans 2:5).

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:4-5). Christ didn't endure the cross because we were worthy. No, as John Piper said, 'The greatest labor of love that ever happened was possible because Jesus pursued the greatest imaginable joy, namely, the joy of being exalted to God’s right hand in the assembly of a redeemed people: “For the joy that was set before him He endured the cross!”'

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."
- Hebrews 12:1-3

Family Discipleship

The Lord's Supper
Luke 22:7-20

  1. Why was the Passover meal important to the Jewish people? What did it remind them of?
  2. How did Jesus change the meaning of the bread and the cup?
  3. Why do we celebrate the Lord's Supper today?

Worship Through Song

Hallelujah! What A Savior (Man of Sorrows)

: chorus :
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

: verse 1 :
Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

: verse 2 :
Bearing shame and scoffing rude
In my place condemned He stood
He sealed my pardon with His blood
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

: verse 3 :
Guilty, vile, and helpless me;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

: verse 4 :
Lifted up was He to die;
"It is finished!" was His cry;
Now in Heaven exalted high
Hallelujah! What a Savior!


Additional Resources

Video: Holy Week - Maundy Thursday

Filmed in conjunction with the book The Final Days of Jesus, this video features short explanations from and interviews with scholars Doug Moo, Nick Perrin, and Paul Maier, focusing on the background of the Passover, why Jesus and the disciples reclined at the Last Supper instead of eating at a table, and why the Jewish officials had to get Pontius Pilate involved after beginning their judicial proceedings against Jesus.

Holy Week Spotify Playlist

We created a Spotify playlist with music focused on Holy Week. We hope these songs will help you reflect on this momentous week, and help prepare your heart as we reflect on and celebrate these events.

Pinterest

Check out our Easter Pinterest Board for activity and craft ideas for the whole family! You can find the board here.

Books

The following two books were used to help prepare these daily Holy Week devotionals.

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The Final Days of Jesus

A chronological arrangement, with commentary, to help one understand what happened and why it matters today.
More information here.

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ESV Family Devotional Bible

Designed to help families read the Bible and apply God's Word together.

More information here.

Study Guide

The Final Days of Jesus has a companion study guide available as a free PDF. You can download it here.