Leading up to what we celebrate as Easter was Jesus’ hardest week! Not prayed for by his sleepy friends, betrayed, arrested, denied, beaten, harassed, crucified…so we could be saved. His humility is a perfect, sinless example to us, and He did this for us, His enemies!
Every year as we approach Good Friday when Jesus died on the cross, I ask the Lord to prepare my heart to accept the unbearable abuse Jesus endured because He “emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:7) He actually suffered physically as we do. Stop and think about the physical and emotional pain for a moment. We quickly say, “Jesus died on the cross for our sins,” but we need to slow our words down and let the actual pain sink in. None of us would choose to do this for our enemies. He emptied Himself of any selfish desires and looked to our best interest, “becoming obedient to the point of death, EVEN DEATH ON A CROSS.” (Phil. 2:8 part) If we quickly look past the gruesomeness of the cross, it’s hard to appreciate the sacrifice that was made for us. The cross is not meant to make us feel guilt, but rather grateful. Pray a prayer of thankfulness that Jesus went to this length to love and save us.
The only way to think and act humbly is to look to Jesus. Phil. 2:3-5 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests (don’t neglect your responsibilities-my words), but also to the interests of others.” Paul tells us to “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…”
This year, as I am praying to prepare my heart to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection, I am grateful for the following thirteen things:
- I am thankful that we don’t all have to die on a cross.
- I am thankful Jesus went through the pain so He could sympathize with ours (Heb. 4:15).
- I am thankful the cross isn’t the end of the story.
- I am thankful He kept His promise to live a perfect life and rise from the dead. I am thankful He is coming again to save those who love Jesus and believe He is the only God.
- I am thankful to hear the story on Good Friday so I can celebrate on Easter.
- I am thankful that He continues to patiently teach me how to grow in my relationship with Him (Phil. 1:6).
- I am thankful He is God and I am not.
- I am thankful I don’t have to be ashamed of the Gospel and can share this with others (Rom. 1:16).
- I am thankful that by His wounds we are healed (1 Peter 2:24).
- I am thankful that I can be free from the condemnation of sin (Rom. 8:1).
- I am thankful that no matter what I’ve done or what’s been done to me He cleanses me from ALL unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
- I am thankful He can’t love me any more than He does, and won’t love me any less than He does.
- I am thankful He knit me together in my mom’s tummy (Ps. 139:13) and made a plan for my life (Jer. 29:11).
THANK YOU JESUS for all you did for us and continue doing for us!!!
Happy Easter to you and your families from our family!