Bi-vocational Small Church Ministry Coordinator

    

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”    (John 15:13 NASB)

 

     Two thousand years ago, God sent His only Son in fulfillment of a plan He conceived before the world was ever created.  A plan that would give eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, and a personal relationship with God to any man, woman, boy, or girl who would respond in faith to God’s plan.  That plan was for His precious Son to be born as a helpless human child, grow to adulthood all the while living a sinless life, and then dying as the perfect and only acceptable sacrifice for all of mankind’s sins.  Only in and through Jesus Christ could God’s plan be completed, and only through faith in Jesus Christ can a person be reconciled to God.  It ALL depends on Jesus.  (John 14:6) He is the only Way.

    Could you use your sanctified imagination with me for a moment and imagine the following conversation between the Father and the Son in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus  travailed in prayer  the night before He was crucified?

     “Son, it’s time,” the Father said. 

     “I know,” replied Jesus, “but I just didn’t count on it coming so soon.  If only there was some other way.” 

          The Father asks, ”Why are You shaking so, Son? Have I asked too much of You?  Are You afraid of  what’s ahead?” 

     “No,” Jesus said, “It’s just that My task is so important.  I don’t want to mess it up now.” 

    Then the Father says, “You know what’s needed to fulfill the requirement of Our love so the we may bless mankind throughout all the ages.  The only thing that will suffice is Our showing Our love — not just talking about it .” 

     “Yes, Father, I fully understand what is required, I know what I must do and what I must give. It’s not what I want, Father, but what You will that must be done.  Is it going to be painful?” Jesus asks. 

     Then with deep sorrow and great resolve, the Father replies, “Yes, My Son, it will be painful and it will hurt beyond imagination — and it will hurt both of Us.”

     Finally, the Father says once again, “Son, it’s time.  I love You as Myself.  Go now and show Your love for Our children.”

     Each year at Easter we are reminded of the love that God has for us. It was a love that caused hurt in the Father’s heart like nothing else could — the death of His only Son. It was a love so great it cost the Son His own life’s blood. It was a love so great that even though it hurt both the Father and the Son, they were willing to hurt and die for their friends. 

     It was on the cross of Calvary where God acted out this proverb and gave the ultimate example of one’s love for his friends — even to those who really did not deserve that love.  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”    (Romans 5:8)   

     Christ died for man’s sins.  Yes, He did, but the Easter story continues, “ . . . He has risen, just as He said.”  (Matthew 28:6)  The good news is that because He has conquered death, we too can be victorious over death through faith in Him!    John 3:16 affirms this promise of God.

     As we again celebrate Easter, let’s remember the love our greatest Friend has for us and the sacrifice He made for us. Calvin Miller shares this prayer about the sacrifice God made for us:   Lord, I cannot bear to think of the price you paid for my soul.  Were it only money you spent, I would find the words to thank you.  But because the price you paid was coined in suffering and death, I realize that I have never known love like this...

     Amen!  Have a glorious and happy Easter.

 

Working Together in His Service,

Roy   Pr. 3:5-6