No Greater Love
We gather together this evening on Maundy Thursday.
The name comes from the Latin, mandatum
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
a new commandment (mandatum novum)
According to the devotional reading for this week, this commandment was given by Jesus on the Thursday before his crucifixion.
So Maundy Thursday of the Commandment
What is the commandment?
Love one another. And then Jesus defines that for us, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
Brothers and sisters let us reflect on these two things.
How Jesus has loved us
How we are to love one another
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
I. How has Jesus loved us
I. How has Jesus loved us
Notice back in v.16
He laid down His life for us
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
And as the OT prophet was inspired by the Holy Spirit he wrote
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
How has Christ loved us?
He loved us by laying down His life for us brothers and sisters
The imperishable One gave Himself for the perishable ones, the Eternal One gave Himself for the temporary ones, the Infinitely Holy One gave Himself for ruined sinners, the Righteous One gave Himself for the unrighteous ones, the Eternal light gave Himself for those full of darkness, the Loving One gave Himself for those full of hate
He stood in our place, He took upon Himself our sin and the punishment that we deserve because of our sin.
The train of God’s wrath was headed straight for us and He stepped in front of that train and absorbed all of it so that we would not touched by the wrath of God
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Of course as we think about Jesus laying down His life for us our minds want to go immediately to His resurrection, and we should, that is a good thing, we rejoice in the resurrection. The resurrection is the evidence that the wrath of God was completely satisfied and there is no longer any wrath left for us.
But not only that, He laid down His life to take our death upon Himself, but also
The Resurrection assures us that Jesus is mighty to save.
And the resurrection is the guarantee that not only have we escaped the wrath of God but that we will experience resurrected eternal life with Christ Jesus through all eternity.
But this evening let us just stop and meditate on this truth
He laid down His life for us.
Listen to these verses that we sung just a short while ago
“What Thou, my Lord, has suffered Was all for sinners gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, But thine the deadly pain
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! This I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, Vouch safe to me Thy grace.
What language shall I borrow To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never Out live my love to Thee.”
II. How are we to love one another?
II. How are we to love one another?
we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers
We can’t atone for sin like Christ, but we can sacrifice for one another, we can give of ourselves for one another’s good, one another’s spiritual good.
Our love for one another should create a culture of life.
We cannot do the impossible, we cannot give what we do not have but brothers and sisters we ought to give what we can because of our love for one another.
If you have the ability to help a a brother in need and yet you close your heart to that brother then you are not loving like Christ loved.
What are some of the things that we have that we might need to give to help a brother
words of encouragement
your wisdom, your knowledge
your gifts, an ability that you have
Brothers and sisters, we have been loved by Christ and we are called to love one another.
We are about partake of the Lord’s Supper and while the bread and the cup is being passed we will sing
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
I want us to meditate upon these lyrics:
When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.