Our Father in Heaven loves us more than we deserve. It breaks His heart when we stray from His path. He wants only for us to focus on Him and trust in His ways.
He loves us so much, that He sent His only Son, Jesus, down to earth. Thus, allowing Jesus to experience the human feelings of anguish and pain. To teach us about eternal life and show us the way to get it.
Jesus, Himself, loved us so much that He give His life for us. The wages of sin is death… Jesus tolerated the ultimate punishment–crucifixion on the cross, a horrible, torturous, way to die. Hanging from a cross by nailing the wrists and heels to the wood, his body weight suspended by His arms. Jesus’ body is supported by His feet. He is experiencing terrible pain in His arms and legs.
In this position, it is difficult to completely exhale. Jesus could take shallow breaths for a while, but soon He would have to push Himself up in order to take a full breath. This would trigger excruciating pain, forcing Him to release and let His body sag again. Eventually, Jesus could no longer raise Himself up and would suffocate.
After His death, Jesus went down into hell, only to rise again to get victory over death. He took our punishment in ‟the pit” so that we, believers in His Godliness and Resurrection, would be spared. To quote Max Lucado ‟Jesus would rather go to hell for us, then to go to heaven without us.”
This is a humbling thought. Who do you know on this earth who is willing to suffer the torture and pain of a punishment you deserve so you could be spared the agony? We have all heard someone say they would lay down their life for a friend, but would they if torture was included? One never knows until the opportunity arises. However, I think our human fears would probably prevail.
That doesn’t mean it would never happen. Somewhere, I read about a woman who had committed a crime where the punishment was flogging. On the day the punishment was to take place, the woman was lashed to the pole about to be struck, her son stepped in and took her place.
Jesus did for us. He stepped in to take our punishment. He was beaten, given vinegar for His thirst, stabbed in His side, and, worst of all, nailed to a cross and left to die. All this to cleanse us from our sins. All this for undeserving sinners. Sinners transformed into saints—children of the Most Holy One—our Father, Abba!
Let us not waste this act of unconditional love. Let us not make small this act of sacrifice. We must show how grateful we are for this gift of Grace—this gift of eternal life with our Lord. Let us praise Him here on earth in anticipation of the new paradise promised to us. Let us Glorify Him with our songs, actions, and voices.
Let us show others God’s Glory by shining the light of love and tolerance to all we meet. It is our duty, no our privilege, to live as if the kingdom were already here, to live as His guiding beacons, showing others the way to Him.
Do not be Sabbath Christians, living ‟the life” only on Sunday and then reuniting with the world, taking on ‟worldly ways” Monday through Saturday. Jesus didn’t give His life on one day of the week, and then take it back on the other days. He gave His life fully, before the cross as well as at and after the cross. He lived with the presence of His Father always near. He talked continually with God, following His guidance and never veering off the path. Jesus didn’t allow Himself to be tempted by Satan and the world. He focused on God’s Word and the strength found in it; strength to live a godly, pure life.
Jesus sacrificed His life for us. However, when He ascended into heaven, we were not left to struggle alone, we believers were given the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, guiding, comforting, and counseling us daily. If we allow Him to, He will give us clear directions on what we are to do in all situations. We only have to ask, then listen for His answer.
God’s Word is our ‟road map” from Him. He knows we are weak and need a place to turn for guidance on how to live faithfully. He gave it to us out of love because He wants us to know Him and show us how to live with Him forever.