Let us now discover the meaning of Maundy Thursday. Here we present 3 undeniable facts about Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday.
Meaning of Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday)
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday falls on the fifth day of the Holy Week, preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. It is also known as Great and Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Shere Thursday, spelled Sheer Thursday from the word shere (meaning clean or bright), and Thursday of Mysteries. It memorializes the washing of the feet and the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the 12 apostles.
The word Maundy comes from the Anglo-French word mandé. The meaning of Maundy is derived originally from the Latin word mandatum, which means commandment. It refers to what Jesus said in the upper room during the Last Supper to His disciples.
3 Ultimate Facts About Maundy Thursday
1. Do you know how many events took place on the original and momentous Great and Holy Thursday?
You will be surprised to know that a lot happened on this pivotal day in the life of Jesus. Some of the amazing things, which include the events that happened after midnight, the gospels (Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, John 13:1-18:27) record for this day are discussed here. Jesus sent two disciples, Peter and John, to make arrangements for them to use the Upper Room of a house to observe the Passover meal.
Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, held the first Eucharist, and instituted the priesthood. Jesus announced that one of His disciples (Judas Iscariot) would betray him. Jesus gave the “new commandment” to love one another just as He loved His disciples.
Jesus foretold that Peter, also known as Simon, would deny Him three times before the rooster crows. Jesus prayed for the unity of His followers. Jesus held all the discourses recorded across five chapters of John (John 13-18). Jesus sang a hymn and went to the Mount of Olives, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he was betrayed by Judas. Jesus stopped His disciples, resisting His arrest, from continuing a violent resistance. Jesus healed the ear of Malchus, the high priest’s servant, after Peter cut it off with a sword, Jesus was taken before the high priests, Annas and Caiaphas for trial.
Jesus was denied by Peter and was taken to Pilate, the Roman governor by the Jewish leaders so that His execution might be duly ordered. What an incredible journey that happened in a single day in Jesus’ life.
2. Did Jesus actually sweat drops of blood?
The Gospel of Luke mentions that Jesus sweat blood when he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 44), and Luke, a physician, recorded that. Jesus was in so much agony that He experienced hematohidrosis or Hematidrosis, a rare and real medical condition that happens due to extreme physical or emotional stress.
This condition causes a person’s sweat to contain blood. There are capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands that constrict under the pressure of enormous stress conditions. The blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture and go into the sweat glands, causing them to exude blood. This means that the blood mingles with the sweat and thickens the globules so that they fall to the ground in little clots.
3. Why Did Jesus Wash the Disciples’ Feet?
The primary purpose of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples is to enforce the idea of being humble and serving. Jesus, being the Messiah and the King of Kings had no hesitation in washing the feet of humans. In those days, people wore sandals and open footwear and walked on dirt roads, deserts, and rough terrains. It was the job of slaves to wash the feet of someone who comes home (with filthy feet).
Peter was hesitant to let Jesus wash his feet as He was taken aback by the idea of the Son of God wash his mortal feet. The Lord of Lords washed the feet of the Apostles (John 13) and asked them to love each other and other people as He loved them. The washing of feet represents the service and charity of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve. The gesture of Jesus was the ultimate act of servant leadership and serves as an active and shocking reminder to us to love and to serve.
We hope that you were able to understand the meaning of Maundy Thursday and where did the name comes from.
Our articles on Lent will help you understand the need for God’s presence in your lives and use this season as a time of repenting, sobriety, refocusing, and renewing. Practice prayer, observe fasting, give up something, and assist those in need.