If you are a mother or a father, you understand what being selfless means. You understand what it is to love someone so much, you would be willing to risk your life to protect theirs. Quite possibly, you love that child so much, you would be willing to die to ensure their survival. It is quite a beautiful thing.
Would you do it for me?
Would you do it for your boss?
Would you do it for Charles Manson?
Couldn’t Jesus have saved Himself instead? Couldn’t He have said wait, I was just kidding? Couldn’t He have gone back to his job as a carpenter? Couldn’t He have gone on with the rest of his life and died as an old man? No He couldn’t. He had a mission to save us from our sins, and only His loving sacrifice could do that.
Can you even imagine a love so great?
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
When Jesus uttered these words, he had already been beaten beyond recognition. He was bleeding all over, had already carried the cross that would be used to crucify him through the city. He could have asked God to save Him from this horrible death. He could have asked God to condemn the people involved in His murder. He didn’t. He asked for their salvation. He asked the father to have mercy, even for those who were about to put Him to death. Has there ever been a more selfless act?
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
It is finished. With this act of unimaginable love, Jesus fulfilled his promise. With His Death, we have the culmination of God’s promise to save us from our sin. The ultimate atonement, the ultimate triumph of good over evil, brought to us not by anything man could ever do, but through Jesus Christ’s unconditional love and the grace of God.
Today as we sit in church for Good Friday services, we will be reminded about this ultimate sacrifice. Hopefully, we will be reminded of what it really means to be free from the bounds of sin. I will ask God to open my heart, to help me understand and live my life according to His will. Today I will remember what Jesus came to do, what He did, and what He seeks to do individually in the hearts of us all. Unconditional love begins with the love of God for His children, and without it, we are condemned to death. Only through the crucifixion of Jesus can we be saved.
“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”