Lent Devotional | Maundy Thursday

Knowing His Cross Through Ours

Maundy Thursday
“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.” John 13:34

The word “Maundy” in Maundy Thursday refers to the mandatum or command which Jesus gave His disciples the night before His death: “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” (John 13:34). It’s curious that, with all the significant events that happened that day – the washing of the disciples’ feet, the giving of the Lord’s Supper, and Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane – Church tradition would have us focus on this particular part of Jesus’ last full day of life, a final command He left us with. 

A command is hard to hear when we are suffering, when we feel that we are on the brink of falling apart, when all we feel we can do is sit down and grieve. When Jesus gave this command, He had just foretold his betrayal (John 13:21) and death at the hands of His enemies (John 12:33-34). The disciples were “greatly distressed” to hear these things (Matthew 17:23). Here was not only the one they hoped would redeem Israel, but also the one who knew them intimately – their weakness and their sin – and yet loved them like none other. Yet in the midst of their sadness, what Jesus leaves them with are not only words of comfort and hope, but also words of command. Why? 

Jesus’ command was that we love one another as He has loved us. Could it be that He knew we would know more of His love for us, by extending that same love to others? There is something of God’s power in our lives that can only be known when we are at the end of ourselves, when He meets our stumbling obedience with strong, caring arms of grace. On His last day with His disciples, Jesus’ heart for them – and His heart for us – is that we would know, if we walk in the path of His costly love at the cross, we will never walk alone.

Logan Gates

Logan Gates

Christian Apologist
Apologetics Canada & PhD Student


Lord, your words to us were never poorly chosen, including this command. As Peter said, “You have the words of Eternal Life” (John 6:68). Please in my darkness show me the path of love you have for me to walk. Sustain me in my stumbling obedience. Draw me deeper into your love, as you teach me to love as you have loved me. Amen. 


If you were one of the disciples on the eve of Jesus’ death, how would this final command sit with you? If you are in a season of darkness, how might God be wanting you to know more of His love for you, by extending His love to others? Ask God to so impress His love for you on your heart, that you may have love to give to those who are in darkness beside you.   

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