For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person — though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. (Romans 5:6-7 HCSB)
Becoming a mother means sacrificing a lot. It means giving up that youthful figure to stretch marks. It means not getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep because your child is sick in the middle of the night. And, it means hours driving to and from the practices, games, band practices and band concerts. You give up the last bottle of water because your child just finished playing their second game in the tournament.
Sacrifice is a term that’s easy for us to understand. It means being willing to give up something to someone or something else. Usually, we make sacrifices because we care or because something is important to us.
Jesus understood sacrifice probably more than anyone. Before He was arrested, before Peter denied knowing Him three times, and before Pilate interrogated him, He prayed that God would not make Him experience His Father’s judgment. You see, Jesus knew that he would suffer. He knew He would be flogged with a whip. He knew He would be mocked and ridiculed. He knew His clothes would be divided up among the soldiers.
He knew that the sins (every wrong act) of every person ever born and of every person yet to be born would be placed on him. He understood that that alone would build a wall between Him and God. He had never experienced a separation like that because he had never done anything wrong. He was completely and totally perfect. Yet, even knowing all the suffering He knew He was going to go through He was still willing to do God’s will.
And, He was the perfect sacrifice. He didn’t have to die twice. He didn’t have to die for His own wrong doings and then die for our wrong doings. Going through that experience was bad enough the first time. No one would want to do it a second time.
So why even go through with it? Because He not only cares for us, He loves us. Just like we love our children because they are ours and because they have our DNA. God loves us because He created us.
Here is something else He knew and understood, He wasn’t going to stay dead. Maybe that alone was enough to give him the strength to withstand all the punishment he endured. Maybe each slap across the face, every painful slash across his back with a whip, every slow step He took while carrying a heavy wooden cross reminded himself that his sacrifice was not in vain, that God would bring him back like Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.
Lord, I’m sorry that Jesus suffered and died for my wrong doings. I praise you because it wasn’t in vain. I belong to you. I am your child. Thank you.