Maundy Thursday is observed on the Thursday before Easter. On this day we commemorate the day on which Jesus celebrated his final Passover meal with his disciples. This is the meal we often call the Last Supper. It is also the meal at which Jesus described and led his disciples in the first Communion. He broke bread with them and explained the bread as a symbol of his body, broken for us. The wine, he said, was his blood that he shed for us. These two together represent his death and resurrection. See Matthew 26: 26-29.
Jesus also washed the feet of his disciples, to demonstrate humility and servanthood that we as followers are instructed to also demonstrate. In the greatest act of servanthood and obedience in all of history, Maundy Thursday is also when Jesus submitted his will completely to God the Father. After Passover, Jesus went to pray in solitude at the Garden of Gethsemane. His prayer was fervent and Luke 22:44 says that his sweat fell to the ground as drops of blood. Jesus was suffering over what he knew was coming (crucifixion) and he sought God in prayer with every ounce of love and strength he had. And still he submitted to God’s will entirely and surrendered himself.
We honor Maundy Thursday to remember with Communion, to humble our hearts, and to remember the sacrifice Jesus willingly made for us. If you would like to learn more about the meaning behind Maundy Thursday, this article at DesiringGod is helpful.