Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The Greatest Love
As Easter approaches I think about this last week of Jesus' life. How last Sunday he rides into town on a donkey with people shouting praises to him (Matthew 21). And just a few days later those same people are ready to crucify him (Matthew 27). He is betrayed by one of his own, tossed around between Pilate and Herod, hears the Jewish crowd cry "crucify him!", is beaten and mocked and spat upon, is made to carry his own cross on his raw beaten back to the place where they will drive spikes through his hands and feet. He did all of this without fighting to get away, without complaining, without resistance. Why? Was he helpless to stop it? He could have stopped it. John 10:17-18 says, "For this reason the Father love me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again." Today's verse is John 15:13, "Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Jesus went through all of that willingly because he loves me and he loves you. God is a holy, righteous, and just God. Because He is righteous, He hates sin. Because He is just, He demands payment for sin. Romans 6:23 explains what the payment is, "For the wages of sin is death,". Anyone who has ever sinned even once is guilty and will be expected to make the payment of death! But, thankfully, Romans 6:23 continues and says, "but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." God demands death for sin, that's is what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus never sinned. I sinned. You sinned. I deserved the kind of death Jesus had to endure. But Jesus performed the greatest act of love by taking our place and dying for us. He did it willingly, with out resistance because he knew it was the only way we could be with God. If we believe that we are sinners, and we believe that Jesus did that for us, and we confess to God our need for Him, He gives us the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. That means that when God looks at us, if we love Jesus, he sees our payment for sin paid. Justice was fulfilled. Jesus paid the price for us!
Here's everything I just said put to song. Please listen.
Thanks you Jesus for suffering for me and paying my debt. You have given me true life. May I live it for You! And never forget what it cost you!