There is this incredible moment in the Gospels where Jesus knows He is heading to His doom. We know from Scripture that He could see His suffering and death approaching, and He knows that it will not be easy. The way before Him is marked by suffering, rejection, and excruciating pain.
It's in this moment that we could expect Jesus to first look to His own preparation for the ordeal ahead of Him, and while we see that He does this in the garden, Jesus first looks to His followers in the upper room.
It's one of the many moments where we see what some have called the divine humility, the Son of God. Ruler over all things. Thinking only of us.
It's in that upper room that Jesus takes simple food elements and tells His followers that the same way they've relied on food and drink to sustain them, they can and should now rely completely on Him.
Jesus holds nothing back when He does this. He gives everything that He has and everything that He is to His followers and His friends. These are people he knows will reject Him and will fail Him, and yet still he gives them the most precious things that he holds through a simple covenant: everything for everything.
"Everything I am and have for everything that you have and are. I will give you my very self and the riches of my glory and I will take your brokenness and your failures and your sin. I will take them and I will give you in exchange all that I am."
Through this act that we call communion, and through the washing of His disciples' feet immediately before this, we are given the picture of a devoted servant. He holds nothing back for Himself. Everything that He has, He gives.
When I think about this in the context of how we offer up worship and praise to God in my life, I'm struck by how distant this posture is so often in my own thinking. I'm ready to receive the good stuff! I love to claim truths that focus on God's blessing in my life and His good plans for me. And we should! But if I'm honest, I tend to quickly glance through and pass over the things that are difficult and costly to me.
I look at Jesus' devotion to His followers and I see that the same kind of devotion is what God asks of me to every person I encounter in this life, and the task seems too difficult and too costly.
The reality of this amazing truth is that my acceptance of the gift requires my acceptance of total devotion: everything for everything. Everything I have and am for everything Jesus has and is. Every desire for my life and my way is given up for every desire of Jesus for my life. Every plan I make surrendered at the cross.
Everything for everything. It's beautiful and costly, and I get so much more than I give. But I still give. Jesus took my sins to the cross and I was on His mind. Isn't it right that His thoughts and desires should ever be on mine?
My hope is that as individuals and as families and as churches that we could count this cost and affirm through our lives that is totally worth it. We sang a song this past Sunday called "The Wonderful Cross" and the final verse is a statement of this truth:
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all
God, let us be people who embrace this costly gift: everything for everything. And let us be people who gladly give as we have received.