Instead of focusing my attention on what all is going on in my “normal” week, I’ve been meditating on what Jesus’ week may have been like. It’s Holy Week.
Question: Why did Jesus, Immanuel, God-in-the-flesh, come for me? He could have fulfilled the need for a perfect sacrifice without coming to earth. He could have certainly done it without having to go through 33 years of humanness. Here are some thoughts that have come to me to further meditate on:
- He came to show me how to live joyfully without.
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” – Matthew 8:20 (NIV) I look around me and I am blessed beyond measure with so much that truly counts. I, too, can go to a quiet place and speak to my Father God in the middle of the night, just as Jesus did. I, too, may have people who let me down, but I also have my LORD, who I can count on every day, in every way. I have His promises. I have His Word which shows me how to walk with joy as He did.
- He came to show me how to love without conditions.
[Jesus said,] “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15:15-17 (NIV) Jesus shows me what His grace, unconditional love, and mercy, unconditional forgiveness, looks like. Jesus knew what role Judas was going to play in His sacrificial death, and yet, He washed Judas’ feet just as He did John’s and Peter’s.
- He came to deliver the promise: ‘I have come so that you will have an abundant life.’
[Jesus said,] “I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” – John 10:9-10 (The Message) Jesus didn’t come to just give me a few years, even 80 – 90 years, of a “good” life. Jesus came so that I can live FOREVER with my Father God. I don’t know that I can even truly understand what it means that I will live forever. Every aspect of my life has been counted out with numbers: years I have been alive, number of hours in a given day, minutes that it takes to boil an egg. How do I understand the concept of eternity which means that my life with God, with those that I love who also love God, will go on without an end?
- He came to show me how to walk my own Via Dolorosa.
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. – John 19:16-18 (NIV) Jesus warned us that in this life we would have troubles but we shouldn’t worry because He had overcome the evil of this world! (John 16) Jesus came to be the blood sacrifice for my sins. But the torture and suffering and humiliation given to a single human is difficult to accept. I have had some roads filled with suffering. I have been frightened and overwhelmed. But I remember that even in the middle of the journey, I was not alone. I looked around and saw no one else but I felt the presence, the strength, of Jesus that I knew had walked this before and would stay with me as I walked my “way of suffering.”
Jesus came that I would have “an abundant life” despite the troubles of this world or the suffering that may come to me. I have an abundant life because Jesus is in it. I will have an abundant life for all eternity because Jesus will be in it.
HALLELUJAH! JESUS IS ALIVE!