I look at that well-known verse from John 3:16, and am blown away by the fact that God loves us THAT MUCH!
As much as I get excited for Easter and the celebration of Jesus' resurrection, the week leading up to that special day has impacted my life. It's been a time for me to reflect on what Jesus endured for each one of us. For this devotional, I want to go through all that happened for you and me to really see what God did for us. He sent Jesus not only to tell us about the love He had but demonstrated that love by enduring so much pain. Jesus paid the highest price for you and me- all out of love.
I think of the day Jesus came to Jerusalem for what would be the last time. He was greeted by thousands as He entered the city, being treated like royalty. These were the same people that a few days later would be calling for His crucifixion. They would be yelling and screaming hateful words. Knowing full well what was about to happen, He still demonstrated love.
I often wonder what was going through Jesus' mind as He gathered with His disciples for the Last Supper. He had to tell them that He was about to die and finish the work God sent him to do. Even as He shared this news, Jesus was still serving the disciples by washing their feet. Jesus also washed the feet of Judas, who later betrayed Him. He continued to live a life of humility, setting an example for all of us. We, too, are to live our lives serving others- even our enemies.
Good Friday, when we remember the last day of Jesus' life. He endured condemnation, false accusations, and torture. He faced a trial. He carried a heavy wooden cross to Golgotha, beaten along the way. Nails pierced His hands and feet. As Jesus was dying on the cross, He forgave those that condemned Him to death., He took His last breath on Earth. All of this was done for you and me. He sacrificed His life for all the things we did wrong, the shame we carry from those sins. Gone forever, because of what Jesus did.
I hope during this Holy Week, you examine the story of the Passion. Read the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Watch the story of Jesus ("The Greatest Story Ever Told," "The Passion of the Christ," or my favorite, "Jesus of Nazareth"). If you don't already, get into a rhythm of living out as Jesus lived, especially the example He set during His final week. If Jesus could continue to love and serve others- especially with all that He knew was about to happen- why can't we do the same? We need to, now more than ever, to bring the love of Jesus into this world.
I think if we reflect on all of this, it will make the celebration of Easter even more special!
In Christ's love,