Two years ago, I had the privilege of accompanying my 101-year-old grandmother, the matriarch of our Jewish family, to death’s door. Although I had spent years listening to her wise counsel, I leaned in very close as she spoke to me during those last days and passed on her legacy of love.
Jesus, on the eve of His own death, with the weight of the world’s sin on His shoulders, drew His family of followers close, and as He prayed to His Father for them, and He allowed them to hear and understand the legacy of love He was passing on to them in those final hours.
Jesus deeply desires that the whole world (not just a small band of disciples) believes in the Father’s infinite love revealed in the Son. His heart is that believers—present and future—experience the same kind of oneness that Jesus has with His Father, but not merely for the sake of our individual happiness and well-being. His heart is that we reflect that unity in our relationships with one another. This is how the world will know His love—by the way we love one another.
On that Passover night, as the Great High Priest prepared to become the Sacrificial Lamb, He prayed for you! More than 2,000 years ago, in intimate conversation with His Father, Jesus disclosed what was most on His heart not just for humanity, but for you personally. He knew that one day you would read His powerful prayer in your Bible, hear it in the liturgy, meditate upon it, and that it would speak into your life.
Every day, Jesus is praying to the Father for you (and for me). He desires for us to learn how to listen better, to put aside the desire to be right or comfortable, and love sacrificially, unconditionally and without limits, even to the point of laying down our lives. This love is what pleases Him so much, what He wants the whole world to see in His Son Whom He glorified, and what He wants the world to see in us.
Jesus, thank you for interceding for me. Thank you for your legacy of love. Help me to glorify You by being Your Love to a world that so desperately needs You.
Debra Herbeck, a Jewish convert to the Church, has worked extensively in youth and women’s ministry. She has directed Pine Hills Girls Camp for the past 32 years, is the founder and Director of the Be Love Revolution, and also helps lead a ministry called i.d.916. She has written a number of books that can be found here. Debra and her husband Peter live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and are the parents of four children and five adorable grandchildren.