A Lenten devotional for Maundy Thursday
Posted in , Mar 19, 2010
Peter said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you." And so said all the disciples.—Matthew 26:35
The triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The cleansing of the temple. The teaching and the miracles. All displayed their leader’s power and the faith of the disciples soared.
Now, on this fifth day of the week, came the most intimate moment of all, the Passover meal, that high holy feast, just the twelve and Jesus. Over and over, at the table, He reiterated His love for them, even kneeling before them to wash their travel-weary feat.
If they had ever doubted, they could no longer do so. What if, as Jesus cautioned, testings and trials lay just ahead. They could face anything. “Lord,” Peter assured Him, “I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33)
Maundy Thursday corresponds to those times in our own lives when our faith feels unassailable. Surrounded by so many proofs of His love, how could we ever doubt?
Thursday is the most perilous day of our pilgrimage. Because when the test comes, we so often fail. Before daybreak Peter was swearing he’d never heard of Jesus. Maundy Thursday represents our failures too—the ones which swiftly follow our moments of high commitment. The times when, having made great promises, we fall on our faces. When we let God down and let ourselves down and are left with only the certainty of our own weakness.
Yet strangely, Thursday also ushers in the most hopeful stage of our journey. Because at last we are truly on the road to Easter. We have learned better than to place our trust in ourselves. “I tell you, Peter,” Jesus replied to Peter’s confident boast, “the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.” (Luke 22:34)
But He said it without condemnation, without rejection. Jesus knew that the way leads through loss. Loss of self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency. He knew that on the other side of Easter, Peter would find the power that never fails.
Allelujah! Thank You that the strength is Yours.