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The Beauty of Christ's Love | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

The Beauty of Christ's Love

Today is Maundy Thursday. It is beginning of a three part observance called the Paschal Triduum. These days begin at sundown on Thursday and concludes at sundown on Sunday. It is my hope that we view Easter in the greater context of this observance.

I believe that looking at Easter as the celebration at the end of a longer observance, shows the events of this week in their proper context. This context brings out the beauty and richness of Easter morning!

One book that I have found myself drawn to year after year is Bobby Gross’ Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God. In this book, Gross gives us a great description of Maundy Thursday:

“On Maundy Thursday, the eve of Christ’s death, we focus our attention on the Passover meal he shared with his disciples. On this night he instituted what would come to be called the Lord’s Supper, in which the eating of bread recalls his broken body and the drinking of wine remembers his spilled blood. By his atoning death he inaugurated a new covenant with all who put their faith in him. Also, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet in an extraordinary gesture of humble service, after which he gave a new commandment or mandate (Latin mandatum, from which we get “Maundy”). So we think today about self-giving love, Christ’s for us and ours for one another.”

As we focus today on that Upper Room, I would ask that we focus on the beauty of Christ’s love for His people. What strikes me about this story is certainly Christ’s actions, but on another level is how Christ turns the events back to his disciples.

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
–John 13:14-15 ESV

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. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
–John 13:34-35 ESV

The beauty of Maundy Thursday is that the actions of Christ did not end in that room. He showed us what love is and what love truly looks like. Observing the Paschal Triduum is best displayed as we live out Christ's self-giving love in our world.