The season of Lent has ended this year and I never spent time trying to understand God’s love for us and it wasn’t until recently that I actually found a way to define it using a scenario that I can understand. And it goes a little something like this…
What I had to work with was basically the love of a parent towards their children or child in this case, and growing up, I’ve always had trouble trying to muddle through and interpret my own emotions with love being the most troublesome to me, but now I’m starting to get a grasp on what it is love can be.
On Good Friday, Christians observe the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus Christ. If one saw the movie the Passion of the Christ, or just any sort of Biblical version of the Crucifixion, one can see that it is as tortuous as it is symbolic. I’d imagine the Romans use it to deter any further insurrections from rebels, thieves, etc etc. But that’s only the start of why we observe this. Christ was always known for turning something that came across as a negative thing or event, and to completely turn it around as something good. “When your enemies strike you, love them instead.” “If you have two coats, give one to someone who has none.” Essentially, Christ is asking you to give of yourself, to change your very way of thinking/reacting and giving to Mercy and Love.
But that isn’t to say that Christ didn’t know what it was like to feel frustration and anger, He just simply chose to do good things, rather than lash out in said emotions. With that being said, Christ knew what lied ahead of Him when he went back to Jerusalem, the Son of Man knew. Let that sink in for a moment, you’re going to go to a city that you absolutely knew would be the location of your death. You knew that walking into this city is the equivalent of stepping towards the guillotine. No one else would’ve thought so, but you, and you alone, knew. And it’s usually at this point, where I’m often left wondering as to why and the extent of God and Christ’s love for us, but my recent revelation helped me complete this thought.
It is because Christ also knew that to do this would save us. To have in the palm of your hands: your own life or the salvation of generations to come. And even then, not everyone will want to be saved by you. To commit this ultimate sacrifice for everyone, even those who’ll reject your teachings, twist your words for the benefit of others, or just plain deny your very existence.
And what does Christ say to all of this? “Not even a question. I choose you.”
You can bring up every sin and deplorable act Mankind has ever done, and Christ would still go through with it. If nothing else, He’d probably still go through with it, even if it gave you (or me) the chance to redeem ourselves from said acts.
(To be honest, I already knew this train of thought, but it always remained a bit of mystery as to understanding the complete gravity of this sacrifice.)
To help me bring this to something I can personally understand, it’s like this:
My father loved his children, despite our shortcomings and flaws, he loved us from the very moment we were born. He’d work himself to his (quite literal) death just so that we were not in want, and gave us whatever he could. He did this, knowing we’d misbehave, we’d do bad in school, or talk back to him. Yet each day he woke up at the same time, over and over again, heading to that same job, over and over again, and driving the same 2-3 hours forward and back, over and over again, for our sake. For the sake of those he loved.
And if one man can do this for his family, I imagined Christ doing this for everyone in this world.
Going deeper than just our words and actions, our thoughts and secrets are not hidden from Him, and yet He still chose us over Himself. Like my father, Christ wouldn’t even hesitate to do what needed to be done for those He loved. I would even go so far as to say, His love for God and for us is what inspires His actions and ultimately, drove him to carry that cross to Golgotha. To look down at us from it, hanging by nothing more than his own flesh and faith, and say to His father, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Now, I’m certain that there are millions of people who’ve already understood this, whereas I’m just barely catching up, but that’s just me. In terms of Faith, and things like Love, I’ve always been the one dumbfounded.
Heh, I guess God got tired of waiting for me to understand on my own, so He gave me this. In either case, I feel joyful at this revelation. As hard as I try to understand God, Christ, and His wonders, I oftentimes need to just stop thinking about it, and take a good long look at what’s being presented to me.
So now, I have to try to be strong in my faith, so that I can give of myself for others, especially for the ones who’d never even think to do the same for me. Heh, because that’s what Christ would want, right?