Day Four: Maundy Thursday

Let’s reflect on what John Piper writes about Maundy Thursday in his book, Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week:

“Today is Maundy Thursday. The name comes from the Latin mandatum, the first word in the Latin rendering of John 13:34, “A new commandment (mandatum novum) I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” This commandment was given by Jesus on the Thursday before his crucifixion. So Maundy Thursday is the “Thursday of the Commandment.”

This is the commandment: ‘love one another: just as I have loved you.’ But what about Galatians 5:14? ‘For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘ If the whole law is fulfilled in ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ what more can ‘Love one another as Christ loved you’ add to the fulfillment of the whole law?

I would say that Jesus did not replace or change the commandment, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ He filled it out and gave it clear illustration. He is saying,

Here is what I mean by ‘as yourself.’ Watch me. I mean: Just as you would want someone to set you free from certain death, so you should set them free from certain death. That is how I am now loving you. My suffering and death is what I mean by ‘as yourself.’ You want life. Live to give others life. At any cost.”

John 13:34 NIV“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I reflect on the cross with much thankfulness, may my heart be stirred by your commandment to love as you have loved me.  May I walk in your love, “to give others life” and “at any cost.”  I pray that more would be “set free from certain death” in our communities, cities, and campuses. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s continue in prayer, singing this song, “Wonderful Cross” sung by Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman (click here).

– EK