The word, Maundy comes from the Latin word for commandment. Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another” (John 13:34). This how Jesus concluded his last supper where he celebrated Passover with His disciples. Just a few hours later, Jesus would be arrested. A trial would follow early the next morning, and by the afternoon He would hang on the cross.
Over two thousand years ago today, Jesus inaugurated communion (Lk.22:19-20). The early church celebrated communion daily, with joyful and humble hearts, and a feast laid out before them (Acts 2:46). They saw this time of fellowship together as foreshadowing the messianic feast described in Isaiah 25:6 and Revelation 19:9.
I wonder… why do we often solemnly remember our sin, but don’t also joyfully celebrate what Christ accomplished on the cross when taking communion? He gave us freedom and a new identity. No longer are we bound by sin; we are completely free and right with God–let’s rejoice!
I often hear people site 1 Corinthians 11:27 as the basis for such a somber communion. In this passage, Paul warns us not to irreverently participate in the Lord’s Supper. I looked further into the context of this verse and learned Paul was referring to church members who were not waiting for the poor before eating, as well as those who were getting drunk.
Today I remember His sacrifice and my sinfulness, and I receive and celebrate that I’m restored by His crucifixion and resurrection. Because He lives, I live. I dance. I celebrate. I love like He loves.