Thursday, April 17, 2014

Love As I Have Loved You

Today, I learned for the first time why the day before Good Friday is called “Maundy Thursday.”  The term comes from the Latin Dies Mandati or Day of Commandment, referring to the new commandment given by Christ in the Upper Room
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  (John 13:34)
and then later
Do this in remembrance of me.  (Luke 22:19)
In giving the first command, our Lord Jesus wanted to elaborate on a love the disciples had scene and experienced over the past years, but the depths of which they had not possibly fathomed.  Even the eleven (Judas had left) do not understand fully what Jesus’ love entails—not now anyway.  That love will be manifest by the one with whom they are eating. Jesus will give himself over to his enemies, then endure injustice and an ignoble death.  That is the magnitude of his love.  And we are to love in that way?  Not by our own reason or strength, we cannot.  It is only be God’s empowerment through the Holy Spirit that we can conceive of such love, much less demonstrate it.

But that leads us to the second.  We take the bread and wine.  We remember
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
Jesus has accomplished all that was necessary to cover sin and for love to flow from the Father through us.  We have the promise that God’s love will be perfected in us as he abides in us (1 Jo 4:12).  Our love may be imperfect or halting now, and even require confession when we sin against one another, but it has a divine source and a divine purpose.

We love as Christ loved us, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, so that those to whom it is expressed might know the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No comments: