“Now before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” — John 13:1 MEV
Well. What to add to this? The full extent of this one line is almost too wonderful… It is, in fact, too wonderful, for us to grasp
On Thursday in Holy Week, Jesus had his disciples prepare their last Passover feast together. And after the dinner he gave them his “new command: love one another” (John 13:34). The whole term Maundy Thursday of course results from this word, command, mandate, this is the new command he gave us: love.
But our opening Scripture reveals Jesus didn’t just command his disciples to do it, he did it first. And look how he did it.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And what an end. He was about to go to a torturous, humiliating death, and he seemed to know that most of his disciples would desert him in the moment. He knew this was about to unfold; the verse tells us he knew it was time to return to the father.
Yet he loved them to the end.
Did ’ere such love and sorrow meet,
And thorns compose so sweet a crown?
I don’t know what your experience of God is. If you have ever felt that his main concern was judgment, that God was repulsed by you and/or your sin, that you could only come to him when you had purposed in your heart to go and sin no more, consider this verse.
With the shadow of the crucifixion hanging over him, in full knowledge that these, his best friends on earth, would abandon him in the clenches, Jesus determined to love them to the end.
And not just them. Us, you and me, everyone. This is how he loves us: suffering on the cross, carrying us back to God, loves us to the end.