We have passed the half-way mark of the 40-day Lenten period. As Christians and churches are preparing for Easter Sunday, this is a time to meditate deeply on how the cross of Jesus Christ played an important role in our lives even today. At this halfway mark of Lent, we have taken a look at the days leading up to the last and final day of the death of Jesus. What we have covered so far should make us repent of our sinful nature as humans, remind us of the redemptive love of Jesus, and encourages us to trust and rely on the power of God.
Meditating on the book of John, we come to see the heart of someone who was so close to Jesus even at the time of his death. He tells the story of Jesus in a deep and interesting way that requires us to dig into it more deeply. He begins with the betrayal of Judas, includes of all the details in between, and then finally reaches the conclusion of the death of Jesus. Without looking at it deeply we may think that the cross is a failure. But actually, it is the victory of His love.
At the coming of Jesus, man had much hatred, jealousy, and anger in their hearts. They couldn’t come to accept someone of low status as their king. Their expectation of what Jesus should have looked like blinded their ability to realize that he was right in front of them. Even his disciples (especially Judas), couldn’t understand why people had such deep admiration towards Jesus to the point that they were willing to give up everything. So, it is evident that we lack the ability to recognize love which causes us to hold evil emotions in our heart. It is for this reason that Jesus came to save humanity. He lived a life of love and service that had power to change the lives and hearts of people, yet man killed him out of jealousy and hatred.
We must remember that the love of Jesus broke the chain of hatred, jealousy, and anger, yet we still have to do our part in ensuring that we let go of that old identity. We should repent everyday for our sins and show our thankfulness and gratitude towards Jesus for setting us free. Just like the Jews, we wouldn’t know how depraved we are unless we acknowledge it in prayer and ask for God’s forgiveness. The more that we repent is the more that we stir up gratitude in our hearts that once were captive to frustration and anger. This Lenten period we should be mindful to repent at all times and to accept the love of God, so that our hearts can truly become cleansed of the pollution.
Accepting the love of Jesus has the power to change our lives and to change the world. Jesus came solely for the purpose to love and serve people in a world that chose hate and self ambition. That is so beautiful because even in the opposition, he never stopped loving humanity even until the point of the cross. Jesus lived a life that was contrary to what we expect, but it is when we accept this love that we gain access to a new life. However, the reality is that there are people, including Christians that view the cross as a failure or something that has no meaning, but the cross has so much meaning and purpose. It didn’t just end with Jesus dying on the cross, but God resurrected him from the dead. That is so powerful isn’t it ? Through the redemptive love of Jesus, this same resurrection power has the ability to be evident in our lives as well. We should remember this love of Jesus and accept it, so that we can experience true change and resurrection both in our lives and in this world.
Jesus walked the earth just like we do. He also had to trust and rely on God just as we do. He didn’t always know what the outcome was going to be, yet he trusted in God and obeyed his word. Even when it didn’t seem that God was near him at the time of his death, he still trusted that his spirit would be taken up to him. Jesus was the perfect example of a faithful and obedient servant of God. Now, we are able to follow in this example and work towards living a life of obedience, sacrifice, and service just as he did.
When we trust and rely on the power of God, then we can receive many and greater blessings. Blessings that we always longed for or thought would never be possible. So, even in the dark and lonely times we must remember that God is always with us and that he is trying to prepare us for something greater in our lives. Although it has been 2000 years ago since the life of Jesus, his name is still being proclaimed today in 2021. We bear new fruits and learn new things when we endure the suffering and pain which can later be used to testify of God’s amazing power.
Everyday of our lives is a gift. We get to wake up and get to experience more of God’s blessings each day. We are not subject to receive anything, yet Jesus died so that we can receive eternal life. This is the love that we come to see in the life of Jesus. I hope that we can continue to put repentance, remembrance, and obedience into practice this Lenten period, so that we can experience a glorious transformation in our lives by Easter Sunday.