Cornerstone EPC Thursday evening
Franklin, NC 28734 April 13, 2017
“The New Command of our Glorified Savior”
Text: John 13:31-35
It is night in the upper room—and all around it. The sun has set, and darkness has fallen on Jerusalem for the day. Yet not only is the physical scene dark, but the spiritual scene is dark too. After all, Satan has entered into Judas Iscariot—and soon the prince of darkness will have his day. On this night, though, Jesus forever transforms the Passover feast; we now know this feast as the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, or Eucharist, to name but three. On this night, Jesus discharges and displays humble service in the washing of the disciples’ feet. On this night, Jesus also teaches His disciples—then and now. We read a small of that teaching presently—and in these words of Jesus we note Him glorified and His new commandment. Let us hear God’s Word in this place once again.
(HERE READ THE TEXT)
Now that Satan has entered Judas, and now that Judas has gone out to work His treasonous deed, Jesus is glorified (31-33). Jesus is glorified in three pivotal, soon-coming events: His suffering and death at The Place of the Skull, His resurrection from Joseph of Arimathea’s borrowed tomb, and His ascension to His rightful, glorious Home from Mount Olivet—after which His disciples, with rare exception, will see Him no more on this earth. Not only is Jesus glorified in His own Person, but the Father Himself (together with the Holy Spirit) also is glorified. God is glorified in the perfect satisfaction of the demands of His perfect moral Law—a satisfaction effected both in Christ’s perfect active obedience to that moral Law and His passive obedience unto death on the Cross. Indeed, Jesus is glorified.
Our glorified Christ issues a new commandment (34-35)—to wit, that we are to love one another as Jesus loves us. The very word maundy derives from the Latin mandatum, which means commandment. This new commandment is the commandment in view. We are to love one another as Jesus loves us: not to the degree He is capable—for this we cannot do—but we are to imitate His manner in loving one another in an other-directed, other-preferring love.
By this all will know that we are His disciples. Folks will not know our Christian disciples by our seniority in life or by our seniority in Christ. Nor will they know us by our spiritual or educational attainments or experiences. They will know that we are student-followers of the Lord Jesus Christ as we sense and display love one for another. This will compel notice in our darkening land—and some will be eternally glad, for the Holy Spirit will use our love for each other to draw some irresistibly to Himself.
Jesus, now glorified, commands us to love one another. Let us keep the feast He forever transformed.