What does that mean? Maundy Thursday? Hmmmm. It must have something to do with the Lord's Supper, as the Lutheran Church celebrates the Sacrament on this night. It must mean...what does it mean? Simply put, it comes from John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (ESV) A new "commandment" or in Latin, the verse begins with "mandatum." "Maundy" is a derivative of the word mandatum. Thus, Maundy Thursday is the day when the Lord tells us how we are to live our life as His brothers and sisters - in love, not the love of the world that seeks something in return but to love no matter what, not looking for something but merely giving. As Jesus gave Himself for us, so we are to give ourselves for others. As He has loved us, so we are to love others.
Then He shows how much He loves. That is found in the words, "Take eat, this is My body given for you," and "Take drink, this is My blood shed for you, for forgiveness of you sins." In that Supper, that Holy Communion, we are given the full love of Christ. His body which is broken for us and His blood which is shed for us, is given to us in, with and under the bread and wine of the Supper. We are given that which shows us the depth of His love for us.
He will go to the cross for each of us, for our sins. He will show us the depth of His love in that terrible death that He faces. But before He steps out of that building and heads to the Garden of Gethsemane, He gives the Supper that will strength each of us, that will assure us of forgiveness, and that will assure us that salvation is truly ours through faith in Him.
"Love one another as I have loved you," He says to us today. "Take eat, take drink," He invites us. Today is truly a holy day. It is a special day. It is Maundy Thursday.