Easter was a few days ago now, but the Easter season is still in full swing. More importantly, Easter is not a one day celebration, but a daily comfort in God’s triumph for us.
In every great love story, there is always an element of unselfishness. Love necessarily requires it. I think we get that fact for the most part. It makes sense if you love someone to think of them before yourself. A mother is always concerned for her child’s safety; a husband would do anything to protect his wife; a soldier may sacrifice his life to save his comrade in arms. All of that seems, if not entirely logical, at least natural.
But we have a tendency to forget that that applies to God as well. We think of him as someone who hands out love to his good children and sends plagues upon the naughty ones. Like some all-powerful Santa Claus. God is not Santa Claus. He is a father with a heart of love overflowing for his children. We are God’s creation and he loves us unconditionally and fiercely. He created us in his own image and gave us authority over creation. God breathed his very life into us. He would do anything for us.
He did everything for us.
Out of his love for us, God became a piece of his creation so that he might save it through Christ’s death and resurrection. “Greater love has no one than this: that he laid down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) I know I’ve heard this at least a million times and maybe you have too, but I just want to go over it again. Christ died for us. If it weren’t for the crucifixion of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you can be certain that I would be spending eternity in hell and you would be there with me. I’m not saying that to be offensive, but sometimes I think we forget how dire our situation is without Christ.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We deserved eternal damnation, but Christ loved us. even seeing everything we’ve done wrong. He doesn’t love us because of who we are, but rather in spite of it. God has adopted us as his children rather than casting us out because of our filth. He has washed us in the blood of Jesus, sending his own son to be tortured, maimed, and killed for us, and we are now clean in his sight.
Jesus suffered for us. He died in the single most painful way that humanity has yet devised after being arrested, mocked, slapped, flogged, spat on, forced to carry his own cross. He had thorns forced into his skull and his open wounds were rubbed raw against the rugged cross. Gigantic spikes pierced his hands and feet before all of his weight was left hanging from them. He died without dignity and without a crime so that you would not have to.
But that isn’t the end. Thank God that isn’t the end because if it were we would have nothing to live for. Faith would be futile and death would be inevitable. Christ did not die to stay dead, but rather to defeat death. To kill it. To rise away from it and back to life. He opened the way for us to share that life with him for eternity. That is our hope, That is our faith.
I know that my redeemer lives! What comfort this sweet sentence gives.
With confidence, we can approach God’s throne as His children because Jesus atoned for all of our wretched sins. We are forgiven. Joyfully we pronounce that He is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!