Remembering and Rejoicing! Studying Jesus’ Final Words before Easter
March 29, 2022
Today’s article is a guest post from Lindsay Olford. Lindsay is an experienced content writer and strategist. She serves in creating Christ-centered content across multiple web and media outlets. Lindsay received her Bachelors in Creative Writing from Union University and her Masters in Theological Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
There are many disciplines we can adopt as we prepare our hearts for Easter. One study that has helped me prepare for Jesus’ road to the cross is studying His final words to his disciples in John 13-17.
The disciples find their way to an upper room just before Passover, and Jesus begins to wash their feet. In this intentional and quiet moment, Jesus starts to show his disciples what He wants them to do. Here are a few reflections and questions to consider when reading Jesus’ final words and how they can help us prepare for Easter.
Chapter 13 – The Washing
Jesus illustrates His entire life’s purpose in this humble act. He is showing Himself as a servant because that is Who He is. In giving up His glory to become a sacrifice for humanity’s sin, He is (in fact) serving His people. But it is in this act that Jesus gives His great command. As followers of Jesus, we are to show great and selfless love to one another. That way, we show the world Who Jesus is and, therefore Who God is.
When reading John 13, reflect on what it means to be Jesus’ disciples. We are to reveal God’s nature to the world by being like Jesus. Also read Philippians 2.
Chapter 14 – The Promise of the Spirit
Jesus declares that He is leaving His disciples, but not to worry. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will come, and He is capable of being with them at all times in all places. This promise is a comfort and joy. The Spirit will guide all followers, but also, we see the oneness of the Spirit, the Father, and the Son.
Read 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 and John 14:26 and consider the Spirit’s role. How do we as followers of Christ see the oneness of the Trinity in these passages? What do we see the passage say about our union with Christ?
Chapter 15 – The Personal Love of God
Remain, abide, or dwell. This becomes the focus of John 15. Jesus’ disciples are those who remain in His love. Just as a vine nourishes and sustains the branches, God’s love permeates our lives, empowering us to grow more and more in the knowledge of God and His likeness.
Read through all of John 15 and focus on the words remain, abide, or dwell. How do we pursue remaining or abiding in Jesus?
Chapter 16 – The Perseverance of the Faithful
Jesus also promises His disciples that the Holy Spirit will fill them and supply them to carry out His mission. If you read through John 15 and 16, Jesus highlights that they are to do two things: to bear witness and to do acts of service. Spirit-filled followers proclaim the message of Jesus, but they also serve those around them. Jesus also communicates that they will face opposition to their message, but not to be afraid. When we consider all that Jesus would face on the cross, may we seek to walk in boldness as Jesus has already conquered the world (John 16:33).
One action to take after reading these passages is to take the opportunity to declare the Gospel. For one, invite a family member or friend to join you for Easter. Also, find ways to serve and use those areas as a place to show the love of Jesus.
Chapter 17 – The Prayer
Reading this chapter, we see the heart of our Savior on display. He loves the Father and desires for Him to be glorified in all He does. In everything, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is the ultimate sacrifice and thus the ultimate act of worship to God. We also see Jesus’ heart for His disciples. He wants them to be one as Jesus experiences oneness with His Father (John 17:21).
The Book of John shows us that Jesus was firm in His identity. He is the Son of God, the Great I Am. Reread Jesus’ prayer to His Father in John 17. Consider your relationships with those around you who are followers of Jesus. Are we pursuing oneness? Are we desiring to reveal God’s love to those around us by how we love one another?
Jesus is ushering in the Kingdom of God, announcing that He is the Great I Am and no one comes to the Father except through Him. As we prepare our hearts for Easter, consider going through the Book of John to remind yourself of all Jesus has called us to do. Enjoy the words He gave to His disciples in the upper room and how they apply to you today.
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