Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sacrifice

"Those who passed by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads, saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save Yourself!" (Mark 15:29-30)
Jesus could have, you know. Dying on the cross wasn't something He was looking forward to. As a matter of fact, the Bible is pretty clear He asked God to remove the cup from Him, but not His will, God's will, be done. Yet, Jesus could have come down from the cross. He could have merely looked at the nail in his right wrist and it could have burst forth, nailing some unsuspecting on-looker in the foot. He could have reached with that same hand and pulled out the other nail, allowing Himself to feel no pain. After all, He is God's Son. He could have leaned down and gently eased the last and final nail out of his feet. Falling from the cross, Jesus could have looked at His mockers, and before their very eyes, healed Himself. He healed people all of the time, why not Himself? He went as far as to raise people from the dead. Surely, He could have simply caused Himself to heal from the nail scars. He could have called down the angels from heaven, who at that very moment were probably agonizing over the Spotless One suffering, and requested they minister to His needs. As the angels ministered to Jesus' needs, He could have shot the pharisees and saducees a "I told you" look that proved He was, indeed, God's one and only Son. Jesus could have done these things. He could have escaped the shameful death and mockings. He didn't have to suffer the beatings and scorgings the Romans placed on Him. He could have been saved from it all.
But He wasn't. The simple truth of the matter is this: He wasn't saved so we could be. So I could be. He suffered the most excruciating pain ever known to man. Yes, He died on the cross, a humiliating and shameful death. But the weight of the world's sins was laid on His shoulders so I wouldn't have to taste eternal death. Oh the pain, the shame, the sadness He must have surely felt! To be seperated from His Father for the sake of the world! To be spit upon, condemned without cause, to suffer so much, for you, for me!
I often go through-out my life without contemplating what Jesus truly did for me. Oh sure, I know He died on the cross for my sins, but do I really understand the sacrifice? I'm beginning to. I am finally beginning to understand what He did, the pain He suffered, all for my sake, and for the sake of the world. As I go through-out this week, and remember on Friday, the day we celebrate His death, may I be reminded of what He experienced so I wouldn't have to. He was indeed, seperated from the Father so I wouldn't have to be. Thank You, precious Jesus, for Your sacrifice!
"..Then they led Him away to crucify Him." Mark 15:20b

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