Maundy Thursday: The Dark Before the Dawn

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Easter is almost here.

But before we get to the joyful celebration of Resurrection Sunday, we need to go through the darkness of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible tells us what Jesus talked about to His disciples on the night before He went to the cross. John’s Gospel uses five of its twenty-one chapters to give us a seat at the table with the other disciples. We see Jesus washing His follower’s feet, sharing a meal with them, giving them last minute instructions, and praying for them.

John tells us that Jesus “showed them the full extent of His love” when He washed their feet (John 13:1). He lets us know that Jesus was “troubled in spirit” (John 13:21). We see Jesus’ heart for all of His disciples when He lifts His eyes to heaven and prays for us even as He is preparing for the most difficult mission of His life.

Jesus told the disciples:

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (John 13:20-22).

The world looked incredibly dark to the disciples on Good Friday. Their beloved Friend had died. They didn’t understand.

But the time of rejoicing was coming.

Much of life is like that too. We have grief, sorrow, sadness. Problems multiply. We experience pain, anguish. We don’t understand what is happening.

But Jesus promises us that a better time is coming. In the end we will see Him and rejoice. And even now in the dark time we can feel “the full extent of His love” (John 13:21). We can experience His peace. We can look forward to joy.

So hang on:

“Your grief will turn to joy.”

Next Step: Thank God for “the full extent of His love” that He demonstrated on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday