Today is Good Friday: the day on which myself, alongside Christians all over the world, remember the day upon which Jesus was crucified. We believe that this death marked the last sacrifice that needed to be made for the sake of humankind- the perfect lamb slaughtered instead of the sinful people he created.
Whether you believe that Jesus was the Son of God, or that this story is fact or just another morality tale we tell- I really do think it's a pretty incredible story. It's a story of sacrifice- and don't we live for those? Don't we as a society love the idea of superheroes and everyday heroes who are willing to lay down their lives for their loved ones?
Why is that? Why is self-sacrificial love considered one of the most fervent expressions of emotion?
There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends- John 15:13 (NLT)
The amazing thing in the Easter story, is that the people Jesus died for definitely weren't worthy of it. Some of them weren't even his friends. Jesus, just like any other human, felt the pain of sacrifice, and didn't want to die. I think a lot of people forget that fact- the way they tell the Easter story in schools, you just get the sense that Jesus went willingly.
Jesus was a 33 year old man. He had plenty of life left that he could've lived. But he chose to give up his life so that we may live with no fear of condemnation. He didn't go easily- he spent a whole day being tortured. Actually think about the details of the crucifixion, and you can tell that it really was a rather gruesome affair- the cross isn't just a necklace. A crown of thorns pressed into his head. Nails pushed through skin and bone in his hands and feet. When he was thirsty after all of this, the guards soaked a sponge in vinegar and pushed that against his lips. Is it really any wonder that after all of that he feels alone? Is it any wonder that he screams out from his place on that cross-"My Father- why have you forsaken me?"
But the amazing thing is that although it all hurts, he makes that sacrifice. That all-sufficient sacrifice that Christians believe marks the tearing of the veil, so that all future sins may be forgiven if we only ask.
I'm not asking you guys to be Jesus, because that's an impossible task- but I do think that as we reflect on Good Friday today, there is a lot of things to learn that we can apply to our own lives.
I'm not saying to you to go die to prove your love for people, but be willing to sacrifice some things. Maybe it's time, maybe it's money, maybe it's the last sweet at the bottom of the packet. Because sacrifice really is the truest and purest form of love. It's completely selfless- it's putting others ahead of yourself. Reflect on what you can sacrifice for the people you love.
Have a blessed one guys,