Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:1 NIV
No greater love – He chose the nails.
There is no joy without sorrow, no pleasure without pain, no love without loss.
There is no resurrection without crucifixion.
Before the cross was draped in purple, it ran red.
Love always requires sacrifice.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16
Before I celebrate life, I must remember death.
Lamb of God sacrificed for me.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42 NIV
He knew what was before Him.
He didn’t shy away – even though He was scared to His bones.
He prayed earnestly, sweating drops of blood.
He was betrayed by a friend, lead away to a kangaroo court where He was falsely accused, mocked, beat and condemned to death.
As He was lead away, soldiers spit on Him.
Beat and mocked Him.
Pierced Him with a crown of thorns.
He carried His own cross as far as He could.
Simon of Cyrene carried it the rest of the way.
He was ridiculed and insulted as nails hammered into wrists.
“Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Naked He hung on the cross for all to see.
They gambled to see who received His clothes.
Darkness covered the land.
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
“My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
He gave up His spirit.
The earth shook, rocks split, the temple veil tore in two.
Heaven once shut, now open.
There isn’t enough silver or gold in all the world to pay my ransom – the price of my sin.
For a Holy God, the only payment worthy is the blood of Christ, chosen before the creation of the world.
God sent Himself in the person of Jesus on a rescue mission to redeem His lost children.
The Garden wasn’t failure, it was about free will. It was about love – there is no love without freedom.
Nothing happens outside the sovereignty of God – He knew what we would choose.
Jesus was never plan B.
He sacrificed Himself so we can come home.
Love came down.
It is finished.