Focus: The sacrificial love of Christ
John 15:13 (KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.
I wonder what Jesus’ life was really like when He was on earth. We have such a brief account of the thirty three years he lived here. Wouldn’t it be great if we had more knowledge of His inner thoughts as a human? Such as, “Did He always know from the time He was born that He would offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world—or was it something that was revealed to Him gradually as He spent time in prayer?”
We know He often quoted Old Testament Messianic prophecy and the scribes and elders were amazed at His knowledge when Jesus was brought to the temple as a boy—but, what about when He was four or five years old? Did He know then? When Jesus was a little guy—did He have the mind of a child, or was He born as a human with a supernatural mind?
We know Jesus felt emotional pain as a human and was touched by the needs of people who suffered with all kinds of handicaps. He came to seek and save the lost—to the extent that He was not willing that any should perish—but, I think we assume a lot about His life and what it was like for Jesus to be here.
Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer and frequently went off alone to do so. I wonder what His conversations with His Father were like. What kind of things did they discuss in those times of communion?
We’re told in scripture that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Part of His sorrow and grief might have been from His first hand observation of the human condition. Jesus knew we were lost before He came—but, seeing it from a human perspective had to profoundly affect His consciousness of our need.
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I think another reason for His sorrow and grief might have been because Jesus missed His other life in heaven. He was here to fulfill a purpose and plan—but, it had to be hard for Jesus to become flesh and live as a human.
When He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed, scripture says Jesus was in agony of spirit. He was struggling desperately with what He knew was about to happen. It says He sweat drops of blood.
In all the stress you or I have ever felt—we’ve never sweat blood. Not even close.
We don’t know everything about His agony—all we know is that Jesus remained faithful to the plan and went through with it.
Jesus was already bleeding during His final contemplation as He gave His word of agreement to His Father saying, “Not My will but Thine be done.”
Jesus bled as He made that decision. He bled as He was whipped. He bled from the crown of thorns, He bled from the nails in His hands and feet. Blood and water flowed when the spear was thrust in His side after Jesus died, but was still on the cross.
Life is in the blood, and His life and blood were completely poured out.
We don’t know in detail what went on between the time Jesus died as a human and when He was resurrected. Was He really battling with the devil in hell during those hours? If so, what horrors did He experience in the process? We know Jesus won the battle, or His Spirit wouldn’t have been able to re-enter His body on resurrection morning. Jesus was physically raised from the dead, or the tomb would not have been empty.
There’s a lot we don’t know about Jesus. But, what we do know is that His love and desire for an eternal relationship with us required an extremely high price. A price He was willing to pay. The price required Him to leave heaven for thirty three years, live as a human, pour out His life and blood—all of which He was willing to do to prove His love.
Declaration: I will find new strength in contemplating the sacrificial love of the only begotten Son of God. I will allow what I know about His love for me to transform my mind, my will, and my emotions. When I am tempted to believe no one cares about me—I will remember the truth.
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