Easter is quickly approaching, and it is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s resurrection day! For believers, it’s not just about bunnies, eggs, and chocolate; we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Jesus loved us so much that He died on a cross. He conquered the grave and defeated death making it possible for us to inherit eternal life and to be transformed into new creations. Greater love has no one than this…
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In John chapter 17, Jesus prayed before being handed over to be crucified. It was such an intimate moment between Jesus and the Father, and every word was spoken in tenderness and love. Jesus truly loved His disciples. But it wasn’t just His disciples that He prayed for. He earnestly prayed for all who would one day believe – you and me.
Throughout His prayer, Jesus asked the Father to protect His disciples. But even more so, He prayed for our unity in Him.
There were two types of unity Jesus prayed for when it came to His disciples and future believers…
Jesus prayed that we would be united to each other.
He desired that there be no divisions among His followers. Now I’m not saying that we all have to doctrinally agree on every topic, but those who bow the knee to Jesus need to respect one another, show each other kindness, and strive to live in harmony. We are, after all, brothers and sisters in Christ.
How can we show the world that we have the love of God inside of us if we can’t even love those in the body of Christ?
Jesus also knew we would need to lean on each other for support, and for this reason, unity is crucial. We were never meant to walk this life alone. God gave us each other to encourage one another as we grow in faith and maturity.
Jesus prayed that we would be united in Him and the Father.
I’m reminded of the parable Jesus told about the vine and the branches. He is the vine, and we are the branches. We need to remain in Him because life is found in the vine. If we separate ourselves from the vine, we are no longer attached to the source of life and we stop producing godly fruit.
In His illustration, Jesus makes a strong connection between our love for one another and our love for Him. He says, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in His love.” He goes on to say, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” (John 15:9-13) In other words, we remain in Him when we obey His command to love each other. Not only that, but we are called to love the same way He loved us. (That’s a crazy amount of love!)
We are called to love each other the way Jesus loved us – sacrificially and unconditionally.
So every Easter, as I’m reminded of His sacrifice on the cross, I’m also being reminded to love as Jesus loved. He died for us while we were still sinners, while we were imperfect and in need of a Savior. We are called to love in the same way.
Jesus sacrificially loved us while we were still sinners. We are called to love in the same way.
To love as Jesus loved we need to be willing to set aside our differences, forgive the flaws and mistakes of others, and simply love unconditionally. And in that way, we demonstrate the love of Jesus to the world.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
**Photo by Ben White at ChristianPics.co