God's perfect love
I love Holy Week. I love the beautiful spring flowers, the fresh, warm breezes, the bright sunshine, the refreshing rain showers, the new life sprouting all around us, and most importantly, the life-changing message of the cross. Even a pandemic can’t dampen the joy this wonderful week brings to my life, and the lives of all who believe. In a time when our nation is grappling for hope, we find the hope we long for in the enduring, unwavering message of God’s perfect love for us revealed on the cross.
During this week, like many of you, I am focusing my mind and my heart on the journey Jesus took to the cross. I am reflecting on what that means for me… I am thinking about His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, received as a king by an adoring crowd. I am thinking about how most in that crowd turned against Him violently as the week pressed on. I am thinking about the last meal Jesus shared with His disciples, before His crucifixion and resurrection. What were His disciples thinking and feeling when Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him?
What was going through their minds as Jesus humbly washed their feet before that meal? What were they thinking and feeling during their Passover feast when He took bread and wine and told them this was His body given for them and His blood poured out for them? What were Jesus’ closest friends thinking when He took them to the Mount of Olives to pray with and for Him? How did Peter feel after He saw Jesus being led away to stand in judgement before ruthless, religious men intent on killing Him?
What was going through Peter’s mind later when He denied ever even knowing Jesus, not once, but three times, just as Jesus said he would? What was it like for Jesus to endure such suffering as He accepted lash after lash without a word, then being forced to carry His own cross past jeering onlookers to Golgotha? How horrible must it have been for Christ to be hung on that cross, guards mocking Him, misery overwhelming Him, only to have His Father be forced to look away because of the sin He bore for you and me?
How can all of this be so beautiful to us? It sounds horrifying. It is because what Jesus did on that cross for you and me, and for all who believe, revealed God’s perfect love for us. He bore our sin; He paid our sin penalty; and He made us right with God.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
This Holy Week, join me in reflecting on the sacrifice Christ made for us. Thank God for His perfect love for you - a love that drives out fear of judgement and punishment.
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18.
Click here to listen to much more in Perfect Love - Part 2 - Commanded.