Today, Christians come to Maundy Thursday, which commemorates the Last Supper, and Jesus scrubbed the feet of his disciples.
Five things to know about Maundy Thursday:
What does Maundy mean?
The Thursday before Easter is referred to as Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. Maundy is derived from the Latin word for "command," and translates to Jesus' commandment to the disciples, "Love one another as I have loved you."
What is the theme to remember?
The Last Supper, which Christians consider the Holy Eucharist, is described in Luke's chapter 22. Jesus takes bread and distributes wine, and says, "This is my blood." He then asks the disciples to "Do this in remembrance of me."
What day was Jesus observing?
The Last Supper is derived from Jesus' Jewish heritage and his observance of a Jewish holiday. A Passover Seder is the feast of unleavened bread. When Jesus and the disciples arrived, there was no time for bread to rise.
Why is foot-washing?
Maundy Thursday is a feature of foot-washing. Jesus used the feet of the disciples as part of chapter 13 of the Gospel of John. It's the ultimate act of "servant leadership." Jesus instructs his followers to love and to serve. Most Catholic churches will have a Mass tonight, with a Eucharistic celebration that includes the washing of feet.
Maundy Thursday has a dark side.
Jesus declares his death, saying, "You will eat until the kingdom of God is fulfilled." It also marks an act of betrayal. One of Jesus' 12 disciples, Judas Iscariot, is outlined by Jesus as the one who will betray him.