Sunday, March 27, 2016

for this I have been born...

"For this I have been born,
and for this I have come into the cosmos:
to demonstrate the power of truth.
Everyone who seeks truth hears My voice."
~John 18:37

For this I have been born...

Waiting. It seems like so much of life is just waiting. I don't know about you, but I don't like waiting. I've spent a lot of time--years, even--waiting for my future to come, waiting to find out what God has in store for me.

Jesus was waiting His whole life, but He wasn't waiting for His plans to all work out.

He was waiting for the cross.

From the moment Jesus came into the world, His purpose was to face the cross--to take the punishment we deserve onto Himself.

Jesus spent His life waiting for an excruciating death on a cross which came after mockery and humiliation. He had the power to walk away from the cross, to call down legions of angels and have the armies of Heaven wipe out all those trying to kill Him.

But still, He chose the cross.

He chose to bear the humiliation of a crown of thorns placed on the head that rightly bore the crown of Heaven. He chose the agony of the cross, of separation from the Father, when He could have been seated on the throne beside Him.

And though His entire life was leading up to that moment--a time of unimaginable sorrow--in the midst of His own agony, Jesus was still focused on us.

If you know me, you know how much I like Peter. As Jesus was being mocked and beaten and falsely put on trial, Peter was fulfilling what Jesus had said. He was denying even knowing Jesus, let alone being His follower. With Peter's third denial, before the words were even out of his mouth, a rooster crowed.

And Peter knew what he had done.

There was Jesus, in the middle of a crowd of people who were mocking Him, beating Him, and spitting on Him. Yet when the rooster crowed, Luke 22:61 tells us "The LORD turned toward Peter, and their eyes met." While He was waiting for His death, knowing what He was about to face, Jesus made it a point to find Peter in the chaos, to look into the eyes of the friend who had just denied even so much as knowing Him.

Jesus spent His life waiting for the cross to save us from having to pay the penalty for our sins. He chose to suffer so we wouldn't have to.

The story could have stopped there, and it would have been enough. With His death, Jesus paid the price for our sins. He took our punishment upon Himself, which was more than any of us deserves. But that's not the end of the story.

"So we stand firm in the conviction
that death holds no power over God's Anointed,
because He was resurrected from the dead
never to face death again."
~Romans 6:9

Our sins were crucified with Christ, but that's not where God's mercy and grace stop. Instead, when we join with Him in the crucifixion, we also join with Him in the resurrection. When the stone was rolled away and the empty tomb was revealed, Jesus gave us the gift of eternity.

We're waiting. That's a big part of life. The thing is, since Jesus chose the cross we're not waiting for death. Instead, we're waiting for Life.



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Thoughts? I would love to hear them!
~Mandy