“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” – John 13:1
This phrase, “he loved them to the end” is powerful. A little later that same night Jesus says,
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:12-13
In His earthly life, Jesus has perfectly loved His disciples from the beginning and now continues to show His love for them at the end. He celebrates the Passover with them, washes their feet, teaches them, encourages them, gives them hope for the future, and prays for them. All of this He does while preparing to go to the cross to die for their sins.
Jesus is about to face the greatest trial in history by taking on the sin of the world and most of His final moments are spent giving truth and encouragement to His disciples. He calls them “friends” and tells them that what He is about to do is because of His love for them and for the glory of the Father.
It is not only the disciples with Him physically that night that He loves to the end, but all that would come to believe in Him. One of the last things He does before He is arrested is to pray for you and I.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” – John 17:20-26
On this Good Friday all those years ago, Jesus also loved you and I to the end. When he could have called more than twelve legions of angels and ended the whole thing right then and there (Matthew 26:53), He didn’t. When He could have come down from the cross and proved His deity once again to the mocking crowd (Matthew 27:42), He didn’t. In loving us to the end, He stayed on the cross until He was able to say,
“It is finished.”
He loved them, He loved us, until the end of His earthly life and beyond. Through His death and resurrection, the same love that God the Father has for God the Son is now in us, along with Christ Himself through the Holy Spirit.
“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Jesus loves us to the end. Jesus loves you to the end. He will love you to the end of your life, to the end of time, and beyond.