Before coming into a relationship with Christ there are many things that we valued and prioritized. Think about it, you may have taken pride in your job position, or in the brand new car that you were able to afford, or possibly another person. However, upon coming into a relationship with Christ, we are advised to let go of all material possessions in order to follow the life of Jesus.
It was painful, right? Having to give up something that you always thought you would have forever to find that one day it would come to an end. Well, this was the life of Jesus. He valued us and loved us much that he gave up his life in exchange for us. Let that sink in for a second.
The pain of giving up your material possessions does not come close to the pain of giving up your life, but that is what Jesus did. Imagine standing in front of the cross when Jesus was being crucified. This realization is difficult for some people to fathom because it doesn’t make sense to us for someone to sacrifice their life for all of humanity. So, your next question may be how can someone do this? Jesus was able to do this because he had great love for us.
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1)
Jesus showed the full extent of his love by suffering and sacrificing his life on the cross. From this act of sacrifice, we see that the greatest suffering in life is displayed through love. It was through this love that we gained a new life that is everlasting. So, there is no need to feel that you have made a mistake for giving up your life to follow the path of Jesus.
Suffering is one of the central themes in the bible. If we do not include the suffering, then we are diminishing the price that Jesus paid for us. “But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13). As Christ-followers, suffering is okay because there is a beautiful fruit that is produced when we endure well.
As we begin the first day of the Lenten season, be encouraged to meditate on the great sacrifice of Jesus and remember that it was his love that set us free from bondage. When you have matured in this love, then you will be able to love others by serving them how Jesus once did.
Task: Read John 13:1-17 and meditate on the acts of service Jesus displayed. In what ways has his sacrifice saved you? What is will be your new perspective in times of suffering? All it takes is for you is to sit, reflect, and meditate to see all the goodness that came through Our Lord and Savior; Jesus Christ.