What Has Jesus Ever Done for Me?
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 NLT
Easter is coming! In our minds we envision bright colored eggs, beautiful spring flowers, and tables loaded with feasts. These things are a part of what bring us joy at Easter. All represent new life and resurrection: the long winter over, birds laying eggs, green grass and budding flowers, families gathering.
Holy Week is here! This week, above all others, answers the question: “What has Jesus ever done for me?” The answer: LOVE! Complete love. Undeserved love. Unconditional love.
Holy Week and Easter Sunday are totally about love. But, before Easter, came tremendous hate and heartbreak and pain and horror. To understand the good, we must first understand the bad and the ugly.
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. 1 Peter 3:18 NLT
Please come with me now as we follow just a part of Jesus’ journey to the cross.
Thursday. Traditionally known as Maundy Thursday. This is the day Jesus celebrated His final Passover meal with His disciples. It is the day He washed the disciples’ feet. It is the day He prayed in the garden. It is the day He was betrayed by a friend. It is the day He was denied by a friend. It is the day He was arrested. It is the day He was treated cruelly and condemned by religious leaders who claimed to know God, His Father. It is the day Jesus prayed specifically for you and me (John 17:20-21).
Good Friday. Is there anything good about it? This is the day Jesus suffered excruciating pain, tremendous humiliation and compete rejection. This is the day that He was executed, murdered. This is the day He was buried. Absolutely nothing can be considered good about what Jesus suffered on this day.
Saturday. Jesus was in the tomb. Sealed behind the stone. Dead. Buried. Alone.
All of this horror Jesus suffered – for me and for you. He suffered the pain so that we do not have to suffer the wrath of God because of our rejection and sin. Jesus took our punishment on Himself. Why? Because He loves us with a tremendous love.
Sunday. Resurrection Day! Easter. Jesus is alive! Love conquered death. Love won over hate and heartache!
Jesus’ pain had a purpose. To save you and me. To prove His love. Complete, undeserved, unconditional love. And to bless us with forever and ever life at His side.
Today and all this week, how about we take time to contemplate Christ’s suffering and His sacrifice. Take it personally, be totally awed by His great love for you, and praise Him for the amazing gift of salvation. If we can understand the sacrifice, then the hope of Easter Sunday will be all the sweeter.
Amazing Lord, I give myself to you today in humble awareness of the sacrifice You made for me. You have literally smothered me with Your amazing love and amazing grace. Please help me share Your love, unconditionally and completely, with Your world today. Amen.