Friday, April 18, 2014

The Color of Jesus' Love is Blood Red

Drops of blood began to fall from Jesus' tortured body, long before He was brutally nailed to a wooden cross. He was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane knowing what was ahead. And yet, He willfully submitted to the will of His Father in Heaven. He knew what was coming...He was going to take on the wrath of God for the sins of the whole world.

He had to suffer excruciating beatings with a multi-stranded whip made with metal and bone fragments in it to tear the flesh.  Soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and pressed it on his head. They mocked Him. They spit on Him. They beat Him. Jesus endured because He knew why He came to earth. He did it for love.

 And then, after his beatings they crucified Him! "Crucifixion was a slow and agonizing death. Nails were probably driven through the wrists rather than the palms. The weight of the suspended body made breathing difficult and painful. Involuntary efforts by the legs to ease the pressure greatly increased pain in the feet. This ordeal continued until the exhausted victim could no longer breathe; this might take several days." (ESV commentary on Matthew 27:32-37).

He loved His disciples and lovingly prepared them for what was going to happen to Him. "And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the 12 disciples aside, and on the way He said to them, 'See we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and He will be raised on the third day'" (Matthew 20:17-19). 

Yes, hallelujah! Jesus is alive. After His resurrection He met with His disciples to encourage them. "Now the 11 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:16-20).

So why do [we] Christians always seem to sing and celebrate the name and person of Jesus? Why do we have hope and strength? Why do we have power to overcome? Why do we talk about Him all the time? Why do we gather for prayer meetings? Why do we gather on Sunday mornings? Why do we daily read our Bibles?

Because we KNOW Him. 

We know what He has done for us on the cross.
We know of His love for us. It's unconditional. It's forever. 
We know we need a Savior to take away our sins. 
We know we are powered by Jesus. 
We know we can't take credit for anything. 
We know everything comes to us sifted through His loving hands.
We know Jesus promises to always love us, provide for us and protect us. 
We know Jesus is truly trustworthy. 
And we like that. We like that a lot.
And just think. He did it for love.

Polly :)
"Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His Name together!
psalm 34:3