A Prayer About the Mandate Jesus Gave Us
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. John 13:1
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Dear Lord Jesus, as I meditate and pray my way through these Scriptures, quite literally, I’m overwhelmed. What but the gift of faith can enable me to grasp the wonder of these words and the magnificence of this moment? What but the power of the gospel can enable me to believe and obey them? Grant me both, I pray… grant me both.
On our calendar we call this day, Maundy, or Mandate Thursday. The day of Holy Week… a day in the history of redemption… brimming-over with glory and grace. Passover will soon become the Lord’s Supper—your supper. The promises of the Old Covenant will soon be fulfilled by the blood of the New Covenant—your blood.
Having shared eternal glory with the Father, you now show unparalleled grace to your disciples. Having loved this rag-tag bunch of broken men… who squabbled with each other for positions of honor and who, within a few hours, would all scatter and deny you… having loved them so well, you now show them the full extent of your love. Your disrobing to wash their feet was with a full view to your being disrobed to wash their hearts, and my heart. What wondrous love is this indeed… how wide, long, high and deep…
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” This is the new and never-ending mandate we’re now under as your disciples. Don’t let me ever forget that the measure of your love is not just the basin and towel of the upper room, but your cross and your death at Calvary. There simply is no greater love, none.
Jesus, as my heart comes more fully alive to how you loved me by your death, and how you love me now in your resurrection glory… I’ll seek to make less excuses for loving poorly and offer quicker repentances when I do. As you continue to show me the full extent of your love for me in the gospel, love through me, to your glory. So very Amen, I pray, on this Maundy Thursday.