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He died for Who?
If you’ve heard of Jesus, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “He died for you!.” Did you believe it wholeheartedly, or did you blow it off thinking “yeah, He would have died no matter what – doesn’t mean it was specifically for me because I wasn’t even around.” For many, it’s hard, almost impossible, to personalize [...]
Sunday April 24 2011
If you’ve heard of Jesus, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “He died for you!.” Did you believe it wholeheartedly, or did you blow it off thinking “yeah, He would have died no matter what – doesn’t mean it was specifically for me because I wasn’t even around.”
For many, it’s hard, almost impossible, to personalize the crucifixion of Christ with being a gift or sacrifice for themselves specifically. Without experiencing the Holy Spirit, it’s hard to understand and grasp the idea that Jesus cares as much for you as He did for His mother or His apostles of 2000 years ago. He lived with them and saw them daily, right? There have been billions and billions of people since that time; so how does He have time to think of you? It may not make any sense, right? Luckily, God is smarter than we are; so, we often won’t understand His actions. That mystery is beyond Columbo!
However, there are helpful pieces to this puzzle.
a. He who is forgiven much, loves much -
Before we can understand how this innocent death across the world can be attributed to us, we must realize and appreciate the countless things we have done to disappoint and hurt our Father in Heaven. It’s easy to know when we let our parents down, and it doesn’t feel good to think about what pain it can cause. The look on their face alone can be devastating but is a part of learning, accepting responsibility, and considering how others are affected by our actions. There are often immediate consequences or a gradual deterioration in our relationship with them.
Though you can’t see Him, God is our Heavenly Father. He watches over us and only wants the best for us. However, He also let’s us choose our own path, allthewhile, hoping that we will make Him the priority in our lives. Just like parents have rules for their children which are in place to protect their children from dangers beyond their understanding, God has laid out precautionary principles that He expects us to follow. When we disobey Him, He hurts. When we leave His protection, He’s concerned for our safe return. Though life may be tough, He has many times protected us from danger and guided us toward peace. Though He guides, we often don’t listen. Yet He still loves us no matter how bad we mess up while trying to learn about life by choosing the school of hard knocks. He sits with arms open, waiting for us to either wisen up or to give up trying it the hard way.
Though we may have caused Him decades of heartache, He’s always there hoping we’ll ask to come home. Though many feel like being “a good person” is what leads to Heaven; we all deserve Hell when judged by the rules of God’s house! Comparing ourselves to others in order to define “a good person” is like writing our own dictionary. It means nothing to anyone else and is insulting to our all-knowing, perfect Father. The more we realize what we really deserve – eternity of burning in Hell, the more we appreciate not receiving it yet and the chance to be forgiven. Jesus is the reason. It’s impossible to repay Him for what He did, but we can’t help but love Him just as unconditionally. As the Bible says, He who is forgiven much, loves much.
b. God’s love -
With that unending appreciation and deep love for Him, we begin to understand His love for us. His love is so great that humans can’t even comprehend it. However, as we begin to call on Him and trust Him daily, we begin to understand how much he cares for us. Though we are among billions, He cares for each one of us more than our earthly parents could ever imagine. To be so insignificant, like a drop in the ocean, but He thinks we are the world. He is always there for us. He only wants the best for us. As we surrender to Him, His blessings pour out. As we worship Him, His love consumes us. As we strive for more of Him, He provides it. That’s when we realize how important He thinks we are. When we understand God’s love. When we understand the cross.