To the End – and Beyond
Today’s scripture selection: John 13-15
Key Verse: John 13:1b
In telling the events surrounding Jesus’ last hours before his crucifixion, John makes this poignant statement:
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
That has always struck me as a particularly beautiful description of God’s love.
In Christ, God loved those “in the world”…
- Those long forgotten
- Those oppressed
- Those suffering
- Those in need of savior
And, having loved them, even when the “world” turned against him – he still loved them, to the end – the end found while nailed to a cross of execution.
Now, if things really did “end” there – it would be just one more very sad story of tragic love.
But John knew better. And so do the Christians living today.
God’s love, in Christ, led to that sacrificial cross – and to death. But it also led to an empty tomb – and to the defeat of death. That is the promise of resurrection that Christians still celebrate today, two thousand years after Jesus’ enemies thought they had finished him off.
So it’s much more than the story of a loving leader who sacrificially gives of himself “in the name of love.” It’s not martyrdom – no matter how noble martyrdom might be.
It’s the story of God saving those beloved children of his in the most extraordinary of ways – via death and re-birth.
Maybe it should go something like this…
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end – and beyond.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your extraordinary love that knows no bounds – not even death. AMEN.