Thursday of holy week is often referred to as “Maundy Thursday.” The word “maundy” speaks of mandate—the command he gave the disciples to act in loving service like he displayed in his washing their feet in humility and rising to minister to them. This picture was not intended to institute a third ordinance of foot washing, but to portray to us the act of Christ dying and rising from the grave.
Nick Batzig writes:
By rising, stooping, and rising again, Jesus was acting out His incarnate humiliation and subsequent exaltation (cf. John 13:3–14; Phil. 2:1–11). In the new commandment, Jesus is giving His disciples—who would become the foundation stones of the new covenant church—a mandate to serve and care for the spiritual good of His people. (See article “What Is Maundy Thursday?”)
This is all to get us to consider the ongoing nature of observing the Lord’s Supper, the second of two ordinances given by our Lord Jesus Christ. We see that as the church gathered in the first century, they also observed the Lord’s Supper—sometimes referred to as “the breaking of bread” (cf. Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 11:17–26). The Church came together on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day celebrating the inauguration of a new creation by our Creator and Redeemer Jesus Christ. On the day he rose from the grave, the church anticipates his coming again from heaven.
This leads us to the heart of continual celebration stated explicitly in 1 Corinthians 11:26,
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1Corinthians 11:26 ESV)
These words, “you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” in observance of the Supper state clearly that the church is between inauguration of the new covenant of grace and consummation of all things. Rosner comments,
“Not merely Christ’s death is in view, of course, since Paul says that we proclaim his death until he comes. The one whose death is proclaimed clearly did not remain dead but lives now and will return one day! This verse places the church, as it partakes of the Lord’s Supper, in the precise eschatological situation of living between the first coming of Christ, when he died (and rose) to accomplish our redemption, and the second coming of Christ when he will return to consummate our redemption. The reference to Christ’s return raises the question of the kind of community he will ultimately establish and reminds the reader that as the church awaits the consummation it must endeavor to be a community whose koinonia or fellowship is marked by Christ’s self-sacrificing commitment to the well-being of others.”Ciampa Rosner, PNTC, p.554
Thus, when we consider the Lord’s Supper, let us not miss the mandate that is given in light of a risen Christ, even our Lord Jesus—that exists until he comes!