What Does "Maundy" Mean?
Derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "commandment," Maundy refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice. [Quote from About.com: Christianity.]
Tomorrow is Good Friday, which is the day we remember and commemorate when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross to save mankind from their sins. Upon confession and repentance of sin and belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives because of what he did for us on the cross of Calvary, we can be united to our Savior and ask for the Holy Spirit of God to indwell our hearts. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, helping us to read and study the Bible, do good works because we love God, and have the desire to please and serve him. The Holy Spirit helps us to discern good vs. evil.
I am currently reading a newly published book called The LORD is My Shepherd, Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23, written by Robert J. Morgan.
Chapter 7 is entitled, "His Presence in Life's Valleys." The author examines the following portion of Psalm 23:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The author discusses the times that he has stood on railroad platforms. He mentioned being on such a platform as a train came by at the speed of ten or fifteen miles an hour. The shadow which overcame him didn't hurt him. One time, when an express train shadow roared by at one hundred miles per hour, the shadow of the train and air rushed by him like a windstorm. Admittedly, the platform tremble and the roar was unnerving, yet he didn't suffer any injuries. While traveling in Japan, he experienced the shadow of a bullet train, traveling at the high speed of three hundred miles per hour. The author stated that it felt like "an intense five-second horizontal thunder and lightening storm that left him trembling a bit afterwards, but he didn't suffer any cuts, bruises or broken bones.
The author writes:
That's remarkable to think about. A human being--even a child--can be hit head-on by a shadow going hundreds of miles an hour without suffering the slightest bruise.
Of course, it's another thing to be hit by the actual train.
Here's the point of the word shadow in Psalm 23:4. The locomotive force of the wrath of a holy God hit Jesus Christ as He hung on Calvary's cross on Good Friday. He collided with our sins. The guilt of the ages bore down upon Him. The sky turned dark; the earth quaked; the angels recoiled in horror. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep and bore our death full force.
As a result, we're hit only by the shadow of death. There is no such thing as real death for the Christian. God's children never travel through Death Valley. Jesus took that route in our place. For us, there is only the valley of the shadow of death. And since Jesus rose from the dead three days after His crucifixion, He's an excellent tour guide (or shepherd) for us when we're in any kind of valley throughout or at the end of our earthly lives.
Jesus said, "Because I live, you will live also" (John 14:19). He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though He may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25-26).
This wonderful truth turns our perspective upside down. It makes all the difference.
The LORD is My Shepherd; Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23 by Robert J. Morgan, 2013, Howard Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, NY 10020 pp. 118-119.
Talk Wisdom: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Talk Wisdom: Good Friday posts