Having loved his own who were in the world,

he (Jesus) now showed them the full extent of his love. John 13:1 (NIV)

“I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 (NLT)

Lord Jesus, it’s the day of Easter Week we call today Maundy, or “Mandate” Thursday—a day 9-months pregnant with grace. The entire Old Covenant system of endless temple sacrifices would soon be fulfilled by the once-and-for-all sacrifice of your perfect life (Heb. 10:12). Hallelujah!

Having shared eternal glory with the Father, you now show measureless grace to your disciples. Having loved these beautiful broken men well—disciples who vied for positions of honor a few hours earlier (Mk. 10:35-45), you now showed them the full extent of your love—it’s width, length, height, and depth. Through the Gospel, you remain committed to doing the same for us. How humbling and gladdening.

Disrobing to wash their feet, was just a preview of the humiliation you were about to endure. Stripped naked and publicly exposed, you took our guilt and bore our shame. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

How then shall we respond? “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). This is the New-and-never-ending Command you have given us—one we can never over-obey, for we will never exhaustively get how much you truly love us.

Help us Jesus, right in the middle of this pandemic—a season that has been exposing how poorly we love each other—in our thoughts, and with our words and deeds. Grace upon grace is our daily need. So very Amen we pray, in your most glorious and loving name.