“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
It’s John 13, only seven chapters more to go in this gospel. This is the beginning of the end for Jesus’ life on earth. The climax of the passion of the Christ is nearing and he knows it. And although this entry is only over one verse, it’s pivotal to the rest of the story for it marks the beginning of the end and the reason for which Jesus is willing to suffer and die for his companions.
The scene takes place right before the Passover Festival when the Jews remembered their deliverance out of the bondage of slavery from the hand in Egypt from the hand of Pharaoh. They were “passed over” (i.e. saved) from the angel of death, by the blood of the lamb covering their doorposts (Exodus 12). Likewise, Jesus, the Lamb of God, is about to replicate this act but not for only for the chosen Jews, but for the whole world.
The mention of the Passover Festival and the obvious connection with the seder meal (whose script he would alter) would chance the course of history. Knowing that his hour had come “for him to leave this world and go to the Father,” Jesus was doing that which he been born to do — die for the sins of the world.
While this was not easy act of his will (for he could have changed the narrative anytime along the way), Jesus entered these final days out of love. As verse 13.1b tells us, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” He loved his own….and he loved them til the end.
The Passion of the Christ was an act of love, sacrifice and grace. It was performed on behalf of all sinners in need of redemption, of all trapped who are in sin and disobedience — Jesus died for them. He died for us, for our grief and shame, our lack of self-control and our tendency to run from what is right.
For example, with the debate for abortion raging in all states and across our nation and Roe V. Wade being rethought and certainly debated, we have an obligation to choose life. A requirement to honor Jesus’ sacrifice for all people, born or unborn, fetus, child or adult. His passion effects every moment of our lives and our decisions. Jesus’ path to the cross reaches into every human heart, every social justice need, and brings us to the truth of his life and mercy (for an inspiring article on the value of life visit the Jim Denison Forum at – https://www.denisonforum.org/columns/daily-article/blind-and-autistic-performer-reminds-us-that-every-life-is-sacred/)
By choosing death for himself, he chose life for all of humanity. His sacrifice is our reward, his punishment our promise. Won’t you choose life for yourself and for others today? Draw to the Lord. He is faithful. He will fill you with his power and inspire you with his love.
“O Lord God, your passion defeated death upon the cross! Your love enables all people to find life in you. Save us from ourselves! Save us when we abort the unborn. Save us from the penalty of sin and death. Help us choose life in every opportunity and with every moment of the day. I praise you Lord for your work in me. I am a sinner, saved by grace, battling for holiness and for wholeness in you. Fill me with your Spirit and give me love for all people. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen