Today is Maundy Thursday. When I was a kid and I heard the term, I couldn't understand how it could be Monday and Thursday at the same time. Over time, I realized that I was mishearing the term and that it actually referred to the day when Jesus celebrated the last supper with his disciples. It really wasn't until I was in more Reformed circles that I really started celebrating Maundy Thursday.
From Maundy Thursday through Easter Sunday, so much happens to Jesus. He goes from celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples to praying in the garden, getting arrested, tried, sentenced, and then crucified. He dies faster than the average crucifixion victim and is laid in a tomb. Easter morning, his friends and family find the tomb to be empty. In just a few short days, everything has changed and Maundy Thursday begins the whirlwind of those days.
As I think and reflect on everything that Jesus accomplished in his time on earth, I marvel at the fact that he lived in obscurity for three decades before he began his public ministry. Then, in three short days, God accomplished through him what we could never accomplish on our own. IN 3 SHORT DAYS!
Unfortunately, this Holy Week has been distracted. We've turned our eyes, hearts, and minds towards other things. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that we are celebrating something much more important in God's sacrifice, we are celebrating the one who gives us the freedoms that we enjoy, the one who has showed us what unconditional love is all about. It's not about physical attraction. It's not about lust. It's not about our rights. It's about sacrifice. Sacrifice regardless, even when we don't feel like it. Even when it is not returned. Even when it leads us to dark places.
Jesus' sacrifice provided a means of restoration and reconciliation between us and God. A means of restoration and reconciliation for people who were still actively rebelling against him, who were spitting at him, cursing him, and hurling false accusations at him. It was given while we were still sinners, before we had been regenerated. Before we had turned towards God. That is unconditional and sacrificial love.
Our culture does not show us many examples of this kind of love. It seems that so many are distracted by looking at whether or not their own needs and rights are met. We're more concerned whether we will get everything they want rather than whether or not someone else will get everything that they need.
I am guilty. I am a hypocrite. I lack a sense of sacrifice. I am selfish. But I do not need to be this way simply because it's my default position, simply because of the nature with which I was born. Christ came to make a difference, to be the sacrifice so that I might learn to sacrifice. If I think I can do it on my own, I am deluded and wrong. I can only accomplish this with Christ in me.
As we roll through this holy week, take time to think about the sacrifice. Are we basking in the grace of that sacrifice only, or are we doing our best to pass it on, to let others know of the sacrifice made for them as we model it through our own sacrifice?