Why not? After all, it belongs to Him. — Last words of comedian Charlie Chaplin, in response to a priest who was reading him his last rites and said, “May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
As Jesus reclined with His disciples during the Passover, His last words to them were pointed and clear:
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)
A new command only hours before His death? Yes, Christ is just about to usher in the “New Covenant”—a fulfillment of all the law and the prophets, yet a 180-degree shift in the direction of human spirituality. Man-made religion and legalism would soon be nullified by the sacrificial death of Jesus—the ultimate act of love. Love is the new standard. But this new command, is it just a new thing we must do? A new burden to carry? Not if you look at the context and Jesus’ prayer that follows:
“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:26)
At the very end of the discourse, Jesus says that it will be His love in us that will distinguish us as His disciples. He is in you, it is His love that will fulfill this new command to love others.
God of Love, the Son showed me the Father’s love on the cross. By the Spirit, stir up the genuine love for You that You created within me. I do love You! Your love is real and You have placed it in me. May it flow through me, Jesus. This is beyond me, yet I ask that You make it real in my heart and mind today. Amen.