Would you drive 1,000 miles to have dinner with a complete stranger? Could you spare 72 hours of your time to help someone in need? Would you risk your life in an attempt to rescue an individual who sought to murder you?
While these complex scenarios may sound somewhat outrageous, they truly pale in comparison to the sacrifice Jesus Christ made to show his love toward us. Jesus gave his life for every single person on this planet. Why did he go to such lengths? He gave his life for love.
When I think about love, I am reminded of the unconditional love my Dad has for me. He would do anything to ensure my safety and contentment. Additionally, I think of the times I have spent with family and friends, enjoying fellowship together. I even recall the special unexpected gifts I have been given from friends all around the world. Small tokens of their love for me, yet they are items I will treasure always.
Every day, we constantly strive to show our love toward one another, with the ultimate hope that we will be loved in return. Yet with all of our loving gestures bestowed upon family and friends, we cannot even begin to scratch the surface of the love of Jesus Christ.
The love Jesus has for us is an agape love that cannot be matched on this earth. Jesus did not take the easy way out. He did not simply write a greeting card or send an e-mail to let us know he cared about us. Nor did he give us an elegant gift to symbolize his love for us. He did something no other individual in the universe could do. He died to save us from our sins.
Why did Jesus go to such lengths? I John 3:16 states, “This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us.” Jesus died for us because he loved us unconditionally.
Read the news and you will find numerous stories of strangers risking their lives to save someone’s life. From rescuing someone who has fallen onto the subway tracks to donating life-saving vital organs, there are countless good Samaritans who will risk their lives for people they do not even know.
Firefighters, police officers, and other emergency personnel put their lives in danger every day, helping to ensure the safety of our communities. Likewise, some people spend a lifetime working to help save the lives of strangers.
Dr. Norman Borlaug developed a high-yield, disease resistant wheat, thereby saving the lives of millions of people through the prevention of famine in many developing countries. Edward Jenner, a doctor from rural England, pioneered a smallpox vaccine, helping to eradicate an infectious disease which had claimed hundreds of millions of lives.
While some people risk their lives to save a stranger, and others may devote time to make life-saving discoveries, God went one step further. He sent his only Son to die an agonizing death to show his love for all mankind. Jesus Christ died for all. He didn’t solely die for the people who loved him in return. He also died for the people who despised and rejected him.
Romans 5:7-8 says, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus died for the soldiers who murdered him. Even on the cross, he asked God to forgive them (Luke 23:34). That is agape love.
You may be wondering why someone would do that for you. You may think, but I am so unworthy. No King would ever love me that much. The answer is quite simple. God, the One who created us, knew that we could not redeem ourselves. He knew we were all sinners who desperately needed a Savior. That’s why he sent his only begotten Son.
He wanted to save the same world that turned its back on him. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
God has given us the gift of eternal life through the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross. Jesus rose again on the third day and he is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:34).
If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, make today your day of salvation. Romans 10:13 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Don’t let another day or even an hour slip away before you invite Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life.
Life is very fragile. Just this week, I have heard of several young men and women who have lost their lives in tragic car accidents or to devastating illnesses. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. Jesus is the only lasting Hope in this world. Call on his name today.
Jesus Christ loves you so very much. No matter what you have done or where you have been, you are never out of the reach of the loving arms of Jesus. Romans 8:38-39 says, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nothing can separate you from Jesus Christ and his love. He loves you more than you could ever fully comprehend. He loves you at your best and even at your worst. His love for you extends beyond the highest mountain and the deepest valley. That’s the reason he gave his life. Jesus gave his life for love.
By Jennifer Campbell
More Easter features in our April 2017 issue of SGNSCOOPS Magazine