On Maundy Thursday Jesus gas His disciples a new commandment: to love each other as He loved them. In the institution of Holy Communion institution Jesus showed His disciples how He loved them.
Saint Paul described it this way: “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
Jesus poured out His life as the one offering which could atone for all people and their sins, and which would be acceptable to God for the redemption of the world’s sinners. In His bloody sacrifice we see how great is God’s love for sinners. In the bread and wine of the sacrament of Holy Communion we are reminded of how our Savior loved us.
The common human reaction to such a sacrifice could have been, “It’s not my job! Let somebody else do it! I don’t like doing that!” Like Cain, many could have asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?” But Jesus didn’t say these things. He didn’t do these things. Jesus revealed His love for people in that while they were still sinners Christ died for them.
Jesus gave His disciples a real-time, real-life demonstration of His sacrificial love when He washed the disciples’ feet; but He didn’t stop there. With His innocent suffering, death and glorious resurrection from the dead Jesus gave a real-time, real-life demonstration of His love for all people.
He also taught His disciples that true greatness in God’s kingdom is established in loving service and sacrifice to and for others. He was and is the perfect Servant who gave His life as the ransom for many; and His command to His followers is, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
How will we love each other?
You could volunteer your services to your church or school. You could pray for others. You could do little things that often go unnoticed and neglected like picking up your bulletins and putting the hymnbooks back where they belong. You could sing in the choir. You could help fix up or clean up the church. You could help make our community more inviting by helping your neighbors with their yard work. You could help a struggling student gain a better grasp of the subject matter. You could obey traffic laws. You could smile.
And the list goes on and on.
When we feel our limits are being pushed go back to that night so many years ago and remember how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Remember the next day when Jesus sacrificed His body and blood on the cross. Remember that Jesus gave us a new commandment: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
So, we pray, “Lord, help us love others as You loved us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.