"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
Focus on that verse for a moment… it is a mind blowing verse for me… would I be willing to lay my life down for a friend? As I was thinking on that God showed me He was not asking me to just physically lay down my life for my friends, but to spiritually and emotionally lay it all down for Him! Really think about that… if someone put a gun to your head and said “deny Christ or die” would you have the strength to die for Him? I would hope I would. On the other hand, everyday we are asked to “die to self”… but how easy is that to do?
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
If you are at all like me, most every day I know I am a total failure at that… since I am not even close to perfect, but God can see if I have a desire and a willing heart to lay it all done for Him. And because of His unconditional, unfailing love, He gives us an “A” for accepted and not an “F” for failure… He made each one of us… He knows we are all works in progress… we are blessed, priceless children of our Heavenly Father! I am so thankful that He loved us so much to give us a second chance at life by giving up His Son to save all those who believe and receive Him.
Take a look at the story of Mary of Bethany pouring out the precious ointment on Jesus, just days before His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Mark 14:3-9 says:
3 Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had suffered from a skin disease. While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to him. She had a bottle of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She opened the bottle and poured the perfume on his head.
4 Some who were there were irritated and said to one another, “Why was the perfume wasted like this? 5 This perfume could have been sold for a high price, and the money could have been given to the poor.” So they said some very unkind things to her.
6 Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 7 You will always have the poor with you and can help them whenever you want. But you will not always have me with you. 8 She did what she could. She came to pour perfume on my body before it is placed in a tomb. 9 I can guarantee this truth: Wherever the Good News is spoken in the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”Mary didn’t do what she did for the memorial to her… she loved Jesus so much & with the mindset that His death was for certain & very soon, she gave it all up for Him. She showed her love like no one else did at that meal. This ointment was worth a lot of money, but that didn’t matter to her… she didn’t care what people thought of her “waste” of this ointment. Mary humbled herself in worship at the feet of Jesus. Are we pouring out our worship on Him just days before Good Friday & Easter? What do you have that is priceless possession? Your heart? Yourself?
If Christ just died for us then the story would be over, but He died because of our sin and He rose from the dead to break the bonds of death (sin) and the grave! Remember… it is only because of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and RESURRECTION that each one of us can have eternal life through Him. Good Friday in itself is not good, but when we look at the whole picture… the whole story, the Greatest Love Story ever told… now that is good!
All of the time Christ spent here on earth needs to be remembered… needs to be shared… it is the Good News. Even remembering the sadness of “Good Friday” so that we can have hearts of thanksgiving to sing the praises of the risen Lord on Easter morning!
Rejoicing in Truth!