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There’s nothing intrinsically holy about particular days,
but for most of church history Christians have set aside
eight days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday for
solemn focus (Romans 14:5–6). This string of days provides
an annual interval for us to focus intently on the
greatest events in human history, the acts of our Savior
Jesus Christ. “Fix your gaze steadily on him,” John Piper
writes of Holy Week, “as he loves you to the uttermost.”
That one word—uttermost—is loaded with significance.
Jesus willingly died for his friends and endured
unimaginable degrees of suffering to do so (John 13:1). To
love to the uttermost is to love freely, without reserve or
limit, and without flaw or failure. Love to the uttermost
is unquenchable, unstoppable, and resolute. As we watch
his arrest and trial and death unfold for eight days, we
gaze on a Christ who begrudges no pain or reproach on
his pathway to redeem lost sinners. This is the man who
“humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). This is
love to the uttermost.
As the story of Christ’s death freshly hits our senses,
we read of a Savior who exercises his own authority over
death and promises to take up his own life in the end
(John 10:18). “Anybody who makes a statement like that,”
Piper writes, “is either mentally deranged, or lying, or
God.” Everything is at stake in how we respond to those
options. What are we to do with this Jesus who loves to
the uttermost and tramples death?
Love to the Uttermost is a devotional spanning from
Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. It is comprised of eight
excerpts (plus one prologue reading) selected from John
Piper’s vast 32-year writing and preaching ministry at
Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Twin Cities. This devotional
can be used for personal, family, or group devotions.
It can serve anyone who seeks a steadied gaze to
watch our Savior as he loves us to the uttermost.
Tony Reinke
Desiring God