Everyone knows, hopefully, that Sunday is Easter. We all know what Easter represents- the death and resurrection of Jesus. But as I've read the stories of Jesus more and seen the betrayal He had to go through, the agonizing pain and suffering He endured to save us..the people who wanted him crucified in the first place..the more I realize how much He had to have absolutely loved us and wanted to save this world from becoming a place full of horrible sins and suffering.
That's not really what this post is about though, it's about WHY He decided to do all of those things for us. First, what many believe was a horrible premeditated murder, was actually predestined. It was Jesus' fate to come to this world and die for us. But through his unending grace and never ceasing love, He gave his life so that we would be forgiven for all of these awful things that we do everyday. And you know, I feel like we hear that, we hear that Jesus gave his life so that we could be free and that all of our sins would be forgiven, but I don't think we ever really take the time to think about the "amazing" in what He did.
So let's put it this way, think of the person that dislikes you the most and imagine them standing right in front of you, a stranger holding a gun to their head. Would you have the nerve to tell that stranger to take your life instead? To spare theirs so that they could continue living the rest of it? I bet the first thoughts running through some of our minds would be something like, that will teach them to mess with me..and I'm sure a lot of people would let that person be shot because your own life is too precious to lose.
Now, let's pause and reflect on that scene. We are just a bunch of human beings, with overbearing emotions, emotions that overtake us at any given point. So say we didn't take that bullet, and we saw a life collapse right in front of us..that would affect us for a lifetime, knowing it was our fault, that we could have taken the hit. And that thought- that will teach them to mess with me..actually ends up tearing you apart.
Don't you get it? Jesus was despised by the very people He came to save. He came to save US so we didn't have to be perfect, so that we could make mistakes and be forgiven. He was ridiculed, He was spat on, He was beat, and on the cross He was still thinking about you. He was still thinking about me. That thought "that will teach them to mess with me" NEVER crossed His mind. In fact- He cried out, Father FORGIVE them, they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). While He was suffering a death beyond anything we could ever fathom, He asks God for our forgiveness? Grasp in your mind that this is the Savior of the world, you really don't think He couldn't have come down from the cross and walked away..? He could have said that we weren't worth it and that "this will teach them to mess with me." But He didn't. His death really did affect us for a lifetime, it affected us for our eternity.
Just think about that the next time you have trouble forgiving one of your friends. Just think about that the next time you see someone who needs help. Just think about why you're here, why you can make mistakes, and how you can be forgiven. Now, why even think about living your life for someone else? Do you want to be the stranger standing with the gun?
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." Matthew 16:25
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever wants to lose their life for me and for the gospel will save it." Mark 8:35
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." Luke 9:24
"Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25
Guess He didn't want us to miss that one..did He?
Challenge: Just Think.