What did Jesus do before he died?

What would you do if you knew you were living the very last day of your life? How would you spend your final hours? Enjoy time with loved ones? Write notes of thanks and remembrance? Finish a final item or two from your bucket list? Engage in all the activities you love? One thing is for sure—it crystallizes your priorities, doesn’t it? Nobody wants to spend their final day on triviality.

John 13 brings readers to that exact situation in Jesus’ life. He has only hours to live. Verse 1 tells us exactly what was on His mind: “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”

What a precious and poignant sentence. I wonder how you might expect it to end: “When Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart to the Father, having loved His own, He…” did what? Maybe “He kept teaching them to the end” or “He served them” or “He stayed with them.” (All of which He does, of course.) But what the Holy Spirit draws our attention to first is this: “Jesus loved them to the end.” Love was on Jesus’ mind in the final hours before His death. Love for His followers. He loved them with His life, and He loved them to His death.

That phrase “loved them to the end” can have several meanings, and the Holy Spirit probably intends us to see all of them here:

  • “He loved them to the end of His life” in a temporal sense: “He loved them to His last breath.”
  • “He loved them to the end of His own capacity,” that is, to the full extent: “He loved them with the greatest intensity He possibly could.”
  • “He loved them to the end of His life’s work” in a purposeful sense: “He loved them to the completion of His calling as Redeemer

Whatever the precise and full meaning, let this thought rest and Savior.” on you today: what preoccupied Jesus in the final hours of His life, the objective He wanted to make sure He accomplished, was to love His followers. This is what matters most to Him—to make sure you are loved. All the way. To the end.