April 7th, 2023 – Very Early Good Friday Morning
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” ~John 13:1
The profound and overwhelming reality of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the whole of Jesus’ suffering and awful death is that He willingly chose to suffer on behalf of those who were and are so completely undeserving of His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and attention. Why would the Son of God choose to subject Himself to the shame and ridicule of those who He Himself had created? Why would He endure the agony of scourging and the torture of crucifixion? Why would Jesus – the Anointed One, the Messiah, the King of Israel – obediently submit Himself to the horror of being utterly forsaken by His Father…for wretches like you and I?
Why did He do all that? 2 reasons: First, Jesus was intently focused on His Father – His will, His love, and His glory; everything Jesus did was in perfect accord with His Father’s desires and instruction. The Father’s will was for you and I to be reconciled to Himself; the fulfilling of that will required sin to be atoned for, and Jesus’ sacrifice was the full and necessary payment that allowed the Father to embrace us as His children. This leads us to the second reason Jesus did all of that: He loves us!
Read the passage above one more time… Jesus didn’t say, “I love you this much” or “This far and no farther!” No, Jesus loved His own to the very complete end; He didn’t waiver, He didn’t falter, He didn’t excuse Himself; rather, Jesus loved His disciples (and you and I who have come to trust in Christ alone) with limitless and all-surpassing love. That love didn’t begin at the cross, but it led to it; it didn’t originate in Jesus’ suffering, but it necessitated it; and, that divine and awesome love has forever changed the plight of mankind.
My beloved friends, do you know the love of Jesus? Have you embraced the One who gave His life for you? Are you rejoicing in His faithful and unending love? This Resurrection season is a wonderful time of year to reflect on the love of the Father and the love of Jesus – both individually and corporately – yet, God’s love is meant to be owned day in and day out…all year long!
As we remember, reflect, and rejoice this weekend, let our hearts be overwhelmed and humbled by the perfect love of Jesus.