Part 1: Jesus shows us His greatest love
All the Gospels testify to us about the events surrounding Jesus’ last Passover supper with His closest disciples, held in the large upper room, located in Jerusalem near the 2nd Temple and David’s tomb.
Jesus had supernaturally directed His disciples to find and prepare this special place for their last Passover meal together. The large room would become the center gathering point for Jesus’ followers from that time forward, through many of their greatest experiences, especially His first appearances after His resurrection, and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost!
Sharing with His disciples in this upper room, before leaving for Gethsemane to begin His Passion, His terrible struggle in the Garden, and His arrest, Jesus was compelled to reveal in much greater detail, many of His deepest and most important truths and teachings.
Among these many revelations about Himself and the unfolding plan of God, Jesus made absolutely clear His Father’s highest and greatest desire for all humanity: to know and surrender to His infinite, eternal divine love offered to all of us, and to each one of us in Jesus!
JOHN 14:9 I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. 10 If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. 11 I have told you these things that My joy and delight may be in you, your joy and gladness may be full measure, completely overflowing. 12 This is My commandment: love one another as I have loved you 13 No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.
Jesus reveals that His love for His disciples, is actually the outworking of the eternal love that He has always and will always share with His heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, shown to His people through His real life, day to day, care and concern for each of them.
Jesus loves each of us with His Father’s love in exactly the same way, as shown to us in Hebrews 13:8, where we are told that He is always the same yesterday, today, and yes, forever!
To share in this love continuously, we are called to obey Jesus’ instructions. These are not laborious orders which we are expected to comply with, by our own strength. These are living words, communicated through the written pages of the Bible, yet filled with empowerment as we apply them, being led by the Holy Spirit daily in the process of living out our own lives in them.
Following the Holy Spirit as He enlivens the words of Jesus and other Scriptures to us, causes them to be joyous and delightful, helping us to love and to live in a level of gladness we could never sustain ourselves.
This abundant, overflowing life is like a divinely energetic sea endlessly hitting the rocky coastline of our own thinking processes, deep emotional reactions, and willfulness. There is a sometimes violent, other times subtle, interplay of our selfishness versus God’s continuous calling to us, and His ongoing creation of gracious opportunities to choose loving Him and others above ourselves.
No matter what level of resistance we put up, if we remain in active relationship with Jesus, we will eventually experience His divine power to pulverize our hard hearts, and remove the debris, the flotsam and jetsam of our self-focus, cleansing us and molding us to become a unique person who is more like Him, while learning to love others more and more, in real ways that impact them for good!
Whatever level of love Jesus has worked into any of us at this point in our lives, He will always be challenging us and leading us on to greater degrees of surrender. Once again, this process of surrender is a letting go of parts of us which are so connected to worldly and negative deceptions, that His revelations by the Spirit will eventually give us a godly desire to let go of them completely!
Letting go of these things, leads to letting go of all that is not His. This letting go is not an end in itself, but is rooted in love for Jesus and others, and results in greater love for Jesus and for others. Jesus showed us His way on the cross, giving Himself for us and for all who come to Him.
Jesus’ own example and His call will ultimately guide us to lay down our own lives in some way, whether physically, materially, relationally, positionally, or emotionally, by giving away something of ours or what we possess. Surrendering our all to Jesus by releasing our control in this way, truly causes us to become dead to self, enabled to more deeply show God’s love to others.
In that day, we will fully experience Jesus’ joy and delight within us, and our joy and gladness will be in full measure and completely overflowing!