This entire week has been a time of reflection. It’s been a time to reflect on what our awesome Savior did for mankind over 2,000 years ago. It’s amazing to think that the creator of the entire universe had so much love for His creation that He sent His most precious son, Jesus, to walk this earth and give his life as a sacrifice for our sins. Just as amazing is the heart of Jesus, which remained fully surrendered to the will of his father in order for everything to work out as planned. Only the strength and power of God can accomplish such a feat. Jesus was the ultimate example of this power by demonstrating his greatest strength in his weakness moment…and he did it all by choice.
1. He endured. Jesus endured more physical pain than we could ever imagine. The weight of the cross, recurrent whip beatings to his flesh, piercing thorns on his head, and a puncturing spear in his side were all endured by a sinless Savior who was wrongfully condemned. He had the ability to call on angels for protection and divine intervention; however, he chose to endure because he knew there was a bigger purpose…and YOU were part of it.
2. He carried the burden. When Jesus carried the cross, it represented our burdens. He took the burden of our shame and ridicule, along with every type of sin man has ever committed. As Isaiah 53:11 states, “By his knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as he will bear their iniquities.” Jesus literally carried the weight of the entire world’s sins on his shoulders!
3. He thought of others. While being verbally mocked and physically tortured, Jesus still had others on his mind. There, at the foot of the cross, he saw his mother and was concerned about her circumstance instead of his own. John 19:26-27 tells us that, “When Jesus saw her there, as well as the disciple whom he loved (John) standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.” Jesus knew her cares and sorrows, and managed to take care of the people he loved even as he hung dying on the cross. That is the strength of the selfless, compassionate Savior we serve.
4. He forgave. Finally, as if he couldn’t do anything more noble than what has already been mentioned, Jesus made a humble request. He asked God, His Father, to forgive the very people who teased, tormented, and crucified him before taking his final breath.
Not many of us can honestly say this is how we’ve reacted during our most excruciatingly painful moments. Yet this is the call of God on our lives. We don’t have to hang on the cross…Jesus already did that. But because of what he did, we are called to endure the sufferings life brings for the joy set before us, and to walk with kingdom authority. You see, his story didn’t end with death. On the contrary, Jesus demonstrated miraculous, resurrection power in the deadest of circumstances! Thank you Lord! Nothing is ever over until God says it's over. No affliction you go through is ever in vain. And you have the ability to do what would otherwise seem impossible because he offered himself as the ultimate sacrifice!
This Easter weekend, is there a miracle you are in need of? Do you or someone you know need forgiveness? Leave it at the cross. And in exchange, receive the resurrection power of love, joy, and strength in Christ!