The Disciples thought they understood Passover. It was a tradition they knew well. During that final meal with Jesus, though, the fullness of their understanding expanded exponentially. What formerly celebrated a past event became an eternal expression of the sacrificial love of God. The Scriptures eloquently say, “Having loved his own who were in the world, He loved them until the end.” Nothing of what Jesus knew was coming – indeed nothing He experienced – deterred expression of His love.
This entire evening provides another feast for our souls. The Word declares that Jesus was agitated in spirit. But He remained on mission…a servant of the Father above. During the meal, Jesus would bring the symbolism of the bread and wine to a shocking reality: the breaking of His own body and the shedding of His blood to cover sin. He didn’t replace tradition. In fact, Jesus said as you do this in the future, remember Me. The revelations of Jesus build line upon line!
Before Jesus knelt to wash the disciples’ feet, we glimpse the heart that chooses surrendered service. Knowing His authority, where He came from and where He was going, the Master chose the lowliest of work for Himself. He could have delegated it. He could have demanded it. Instead, He performed it. That’s what secure love looks like!
That same evening, the disciples argued about who is greatest. They mumbled amongst themselves. Peter even debated with Jesus his need for washing and over-estimated the depths of his loyalty. Judas, possibly even deceived in his own heart, betrayed Jesus. Those are the actions of those not yet matured in love. Those are the actions of you and me.
Yet, as Judas departs, Jesus declares, “Now the Son of Man is glorified.” Jesus sees what is to come and declares it in the present moment. That often left the disciples puzzled…and we as well! Even then, Jesus doesn’t falter in His mission. He keeps feeding and teaching: ‘A new command I give you. Love others as I have loved you.’ One of the most beautiful passages of Scripture rests here…John 17, Christ’s prayer for his disciples…for you and me. His love poured out even as He faced the darkest night.
• When your heart is burdened and anxious, what pours out?
• When has Jesus left you confused…and how did you find your way to the Light?
• How does COVID-19 (and other dark times of life) help us love more fully?