Hope you’re having an awesome day….on this Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, when brothers and sisters in Christ around the world stop to remember the price that was paid so that they COULD be brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, our Risen Lord! Some times I think it’s tough for some people to know how to have an awesome week on this the holiest of weeks because they don’t know what they are supposed to feel. Easter Sunday is a day filled with PRAIIIISSSEEE! …because we remember our Lord is alive!! But what about the days before…?
“How am I supposed to feel on Maundy Thursday? What does it even mean?”
“Maundy” comes the Latin phrase “mandatum novum” which means “a new commandment”. It’s to remind us of the night Jesus shared that Supper in the upper room with His guys…the night He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another…”
Love for people would be good to feel on that day…and every day.
“But what about Good Friday? Why do they call it ‘good’ if you have to remember the saddest hours of all of time? How can you have a ‘good Friday’ on the saddest day?”
Actually, the phrase, “Good Friday” comes from “God’s Friday” because it was the day God bought and paid for us so we could be “God’s on Friday”…and everyday! And that’s a reason to be glad!
But at the same time, it’s easy to feel like, “Y’know, I’m hesitant to celebrate anything on that day because it was so, so, so sad for Him. It was the day that darkness was over all the earth. I don’t know what I’m supposed to feel on Good Fridays…or what I will feel when this Good Friday comes.”
One Who was not in any way confused about what He would feel on that awful, awesome day, was the One Whose suffering put out the lights of the world.
Mark 10 says, “They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him…”
Luke 9 says, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem…”
The old King James puts it like this…”he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem…”
Isaiah predicted that He would be resolved, resolute, in no way tentative or hesitant to do what He came to do.
“I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be confused. Therefore have I set my face like flint…”
A flint was an arrowhead. The cross was His target and He was soaring toward it!
He had no hesitation or confusion about that day. He felt the same way about it from the day He was born in Bethlehem. Hebrews 10 says that on that first Christmas morning, in His tiny, baby heart these words from Psalm 40 were ringing:
“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me…Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll-I have come to do your will, O God!' "
No confusion. No hesitation. He came to buy you. His whole heart was it…in doing what the Father sent Him to do.
“This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life…No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will…”
At 2:00 pm on January 1, 1863 as President Lincoln was getting ready to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing three and a half million people in one bold move … a move many bitterly and unmercifully criticized him for… thousands waited “in agony…for the first flash of the electric wires”…for the news that he had done it. “Every moment of waiting chilled our hopes and strengthened our fears” that it might not happen…that the President might turn back.
They had to wait just one moment longer.
The President was so emotional…and he was so tired from shaking hands all day…that his own hand was trembling.
He stopped and put the freshly dipped pen down on the desk. “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper. If my name ever goes into history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it. If my hand trembles when I sign the Proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter will say, ‘He hesitated.’”
So, he waited. Then, when his hand was calm and steady, he took up the pen, “slowly and carefully” signing his name. And “the signature proved to be unusually bold, clear, and firm, even for him.”
Jesus had no hesitation or confusion. He was resolute. He would do what it would take to set you free and make you His. He would sign our emancipation in His sacred blood…”bold, clear and firm”.
So, what am I supposed to feel? Maybe I’m still not sure if I should happy or sad on Friday.
But I will love Him! And I’ll praise Him.
Blog: Tom Job