Today, the Christian church remembers the death of Jesus our Saviour. I went to church this morning and saw an incredible re-enactment of the stations of the Cross. The older kids in the Sunday School performed a drama at the end of the service – it was very moving, seeing that they understood what was happening, the pain and suffering that Jesus endured on the Cross, hearing the nails being pounded in — such love.
I’ve been bouncing around several thoughts since I came home after the service. We celebrate and remember the most inhumane form of torture and death and at the same time the greatest act of Love and kindness that mankind will ever know. God, desirous to be in a full relationship with us, sent His Son to live and walk on the earth. To befriend the friendless, to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, and to clothe the naked. Jesus’ death on the Cross changed to course for mankind — from hell to Heaven.
If the church took an inventory of itself, where would we be on the scale? Would Jesus be proud to call us His own? "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12) Very often, we are our own worst enemies. From the outside, many people see the church as a hypocritical institution — we preach one thing, and perform another; we fight amongst ourselves; and seldom taking notice of the people around us.
Generations of people, young and old, are searching for Love — pure love. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." (1 Corinthians 13:3-5) Instead of being directed to the fountain of all goodness, they find acceptance in gangs, drugs; they try to find it in many meaningless relationships, ignoring God’s true intention for marriage and relationships; we find comfort in "being better" than others; forgiveness is only given at a cost — blood for blood.
There is one place that you can find love, love that is unconditional, and that is in Jesus. Love that is so great, He was willing to be beaten and hung on a Cross to pay for all the crap that I’ve done, for every time I’ve screwed up, Love that forgives me and sees beyond the outward flesh. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 John 3:16)
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)