As Easter approaches tomorrow, I am reminded of the total sacrifice of love and the fact that Jesus suffered too...on my and your behalf. A love so grand that I have a hard time comprehending the magnitude. Jesus is the ONLY man who walked this earth sinless. Yet, he paid it all. He is God and man. He is the savior of this world. He is the alpha and the omega and unquestionably everything in between.
I visualize, Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane consumed with mental and physical agony; that even in my own heartbreak and distress, my soul does not know the torment the son of God carried to set me and you free. He figuratively and literally had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Jesus felt everything. Jesus asked his disciples to watch for him as he went off alone to pray to his father, God. The heart of the father is prayer. It is my direct line to the God of the universe. Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed a lot and often prayed in private to speak to the source of life while he walked this earth. Jesus fell to his face and asked God if it were possible, to let the cup pass from him. Jesus knew. Jesus was scared. Jesus was sorrowful and grieved. Jesus said, "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Jesus surrendered his will to save a sinner like me. To save a sinner like you. To save your neighbor. To save the family member you cannot forgive. Jesus forgives. To save the person that does not act, speak, or look like you. Jesus saved them too.
Not to mention, Jesus's disciples disappointed him by falling asleep while he asked them to keep watch. Can you imagine being Peter seeing your king taken away and one of the last memories you remember is Jesus telling you to keep watch and that you would deny him three times. Or Judas. Judas betrayed innocent blood for silver. You have a choice. Jesus had a choice. Peter chose Jesus and rested in his grace and mercy. He lived on to speak the gospel of Jesus Christ. Judas killed himself. You and I have a choice. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus gives us the answer.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Another bible verse I love is when Jesus spoke in Matthew 26:41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Jesus's flesh was sweating blood from the anguish he was about to face. Jesus's spirit was willing to face the torment to save humanity.
Love is what held Jesus on the cross until he surrendered his spirit. He bowed his head and said, "IT IS FINISHED." He was pierced for our transgressions so that we may live free. THERE IS NO LOVE GREATER.
There was an earthquake and darkness filled the sky. BUT- what appeared to be the ending, was only the beginning. Sunday was coming. Jesus rose from the grave. Jesus is alive and risen and his presence is here, living, dwelling in the ones who believe.
Do not ever feel like you are too far gone for God, or your sins cannot be forgiven. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The veil was torn. God wants you to come home. If you take the hand of Jesus', he will never lead you astray. No one is immune to suffering on this earth; not even Jesus. I can promise you; God will give you a peace that will surpass all understanding if you believe in him.
I lived chained by my past and sins for years until I had two moments with Jesus that transformed my life forever. The first one -was at seven years old when I asked Jesus to come into my heart. The second one was on December 31, 2019. Jesus made his presence known in my life, and I reached back for his hand. I have experienced the love and forgiveness of God. So, selfishly as humans, we like to make everything about us; but I challenge you to think about Jesus. How even on our worst day of suffering it is not comparable to the affliction Jesus encountered to fulfill prophecy. Thirty-nine stripes. Thirty-nine stripes for you and me to live in freedom. What a great God we serve.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.