Maundy Thursday 2017 devotion…

 

“An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare”

words by Fred Pratt Green Vs. 2-3

A lasting gift Jesus gave his own – to share his bread, his loving cup; whatever burdens may bow us down, he by his cross shall lift us up.

And after supper he washed their feet, for service, too, is sacrament;  in him our joy shall be made complete – sent out to serve, as he was sent.

Philippians 2:5-11,

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

How beautiful are these words of inspiration about the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly, it is the pattern of humility that every Christian should desire to follow in their daily life and dealings. This week as we meditate on the sufferings that our Lord and Savior bore on our behalf, when He offered himself as a sacrifice for humanity, we must also remember his amazing humility when he emptied himself, abandoned the eternal glory came to dwell in our midst.

One might think that Jesus in his human form lived as a king on earth; the reality was quite the opposite. Jesus led a humble and a simple life. He never worried about where He would sleep or what He would wear, drink or eat. His ultimate mission was to fulfill God’s plan which is the salvation and redemption of humanity.  Jesus realized that true kingship is to reign over the hearts of people and to be in a spiritual relationship with them; this was the true crown that led him to the cross. This was the joy that was set before him; to bring many people to know God more fully.

footwashingIf we consider the life of Jesus more closely and think about Jesus’ dealings with those who are around him, we ought to continually seek to be transformed to this very image. We see Jesus at times sitting with the sinners, the lowly and the despised. Yet, at other times, Jesus is healing the lepers and the untouchables. Around Him gathered the unwanted and the outcast. Jesus was living in their midst, uttering words of life and restoration to every soul. He declared it frankly, it is not the healthy who need a physician but rather the sick, and that Jesus, himself, did not come to call the righteous but the sinners. Jesus humbled himself to the lowest level and washed the feet of His disciples teaching them and us that whoever wants to be great in our midst, should become a servant first.

In the same manner, there are so many people around us who are suffering and heartbroken. So, for us to be influential in the places and contexts where God has placed us, we have to seek to serve others not to be served, pointing everyone to Jesus whom every knee will bow down to, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.

O Lord our God, help us walk in your footsteps. Teach us to be humble and guide us as we seek to serve you whilst we serve our brothers and sisters. Remind us to think of your suffering as we go through our own suffering in this wilderness. Amen.

 

Written by Michael Arteen, General Board of Global Ministries, serving at the Bethlehem Bible College as the campus minister.

Picture credits:  city of Jerusalem churches by Rev. Kristen L. Brown

relief of washing feet is a stock picture

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