Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. ~ John 13:1-4
The dark and scandalous night actually begins with an intimate meal with Jesus and His disciples. The sun sets as the disciples climb to the upper room that their Lord has prepared for them. And as they arrive and then recline around the table, Jesus “loved them to the end,” and demonstrates His servant-hearted love for them in an unspeakable act – He washes their feet. And it’s no mere servant touch simply cleansing their road weary feet. It’s the Master’s touch revealing His love for His friends. The night begins with love, and as the story descends into deeper darkness, love undergirds the entirety of the divine drama.