And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Luke 22:15 ESV
Maundy Thursday is the somewhat overlooked day of Easter Week. But for Jesus this was the crucial time to prepare His disciples for His departure. At the Last Supper Jesus gave the New Covenant to both His friends and through them to us who are believers today. Every time we take communion in our various churches we continue to remember His death and atonement as people have done for 2,000 years.
At the Last Supper Jesus gave not only a New Covenant but He also set the example for a new lifestyle. While those we consider saints today were arguing over who was the most important, Jesus went and filled a basin with water and began to wash their feet.
When supper was finished Jesus led His eleven faithful disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. There He fully and finally accepted His coming death on the cross. There He woke them again and again and urged them to pray also until Judas came with the soldiers. And then the hour had come for His sacrifice. Even when everyone ran away, Jesus stayed behind, accepting the cost of our salvation. He was the Lamb of God and this gift of His body and blood we are remembering today because it means the redemption of us all!
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 KJV
So you might ask, “What exactly is Lent? Great question! Well, in general, Lent is the time from Ash Wednesday until either the Wednesday before Easter, Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday depending on what tradition you follow. You also might wonder why, since there is no record of anyone in the Bible observing this roughly 40-day period, why should we? For starters, it is never a bad idea to set aside special times for seeking God’s will and purpose. We call it, “Waiting on the Lord” and waiting comes with God’s promise of strength and renewal. Some people may choose to fast certain foods or commit to special acts of service, during these weeks. However, you choose to honor the season, the most important thing of all is to focus on Jesus. For me personally it brings me back to the excitement of my first months of faith in Jesus (Which just happened to be on Easter Sunday!) I come to each morning’s quiet time with an open-heart asking Jesus for a brand-new insight into His word and for His will for that day. Instead of racing ahead or lagging behind in my devotional readings I need to slow down so I can hear what God is saying. Walking with Jesus will lead us along the path that He has chosen. Following the path, He chooses will bring us to His destination for our life. My prayer is that during these weeks of Lent we will see with fresh eyes the miracles of Jesus, the table of His Last Supper, the Cross, the empty grave and most of all our Risen Lord!
Psalm103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him – 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
Part of the mystery of God’s love is that His love stretches beyond our horizon. We celebrate, sing about how God loves us – no matter what we have done. But His love is also eternal -loving our children, our grandchildren our neighbors and even our enemies. God’s love is more than just passionate emotion, it is a dynamic power stirring everything and everyone it touches into action. God’s love forms planets and feeds the hungry. The love of Jesus transforms water into wine and murderers of Christians, like the Apostle Paul into messengers and martyrs for the faith. With Ash Wednesday, being this week often we consider what things we will give up for Lent. Maybe we should consider not what we will give up, but what we will give. What we will dare in order to express the amazing, unfathomable and powerful love of Jesus Christ?
I hope you will enjoy this recording of Amazing Love from the Keswick Convention 2019 as much as I did. – No special effects – just lots of pretty ordinary people singing their hearts out about the extraordinary and amazing love of Jesus! Have a wonderful week everyone and a blessed beginning of Lent!