Today is Thursday. Generally a ho-hum day. There is really nothing special about a Thursday. For most it is just another step towards the weekend, another grind to get through. And that is exactly why we need to pay close attention.
This is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday or Covenant Thursday. Maundy refers to foot washing and specifically to Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. Now there, in this account of Jesus serving these boys, is the colliding of the mundane and the magnificent, the ho-hum and the jaw-dropping.
Foot washing – The ugly step-brother to taking out the trash. The lowest of chores. The thing that had to be done, but no one ever wanted to do it. The job you paper/rock/scissor to get out of. The no praise, no glamour, no fun task that no one signed up for and everyone dropped their heads hoping not to get assigned.
Jesus – THE Firstborn of all creation. THE Author and Perfecter of our faith. THE only child of THE Most High God. THE spotless Lamb. THE Way. THE Truth. THE Life. THE And…
Foot washing and Jesus are a strange combination and yet we all know about it. Let’s be honest we only know about foot washing because of what Jesus has done. The only reason people have painted pictures of it, written songs, and carved statues is because we are humbled and amazed by what Jesus has done.
Last year we studied the book of Revelation with the college students. When studying Revelation there is no avoiding the wrath of God. Maundy Thursday is a great reminder that One has taken our place, has paid our debt, has become a curse, and suffered the wrath of God so we would not.
Revelation 16 speaks of blood as part of the judgment the world will face. The waters will be turned to blood and there will be nothing else to drink. It even goes on to say “They deserve it“. Ironically, on that same Thursday where Jesus washes His disciples feet He calls them to drink His blood (Matt 26:27-28, “ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”). He leaves for the garden and sweats blood (Luke 22:44, “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”)
Jesus was crushed for our sins. He took our shame, our curse, our punishment which we deserved. He took the very form of a servant and modeled for us how to follow.
Colossians 2:13-15 says,
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.“
Let us not miss the beauty of what God has done by moping through another Thursday.
It is not mundane. It’s Maundy Thursday.
His foot washing was not just another thing. It was the Lamb/King humbly serving those who deserved punishment. We deserve punishment, but in His grace we find rescue. It’s not ho-hum, but rather humbling and truly awe-inspiring.