Easter is a familiar story to many of us. Since I grew up in a Christian home, I have heard the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection dozens of times. I know the general outline of the story well. But the story of Jesus trading His life for mine is far greater than I imagined as a child. Scripture isn’t a one-dimensional story that can be fully grasped with one reading (or many!).
I was reminded of this when Chris spoke on Sunday at the Sunrise service. He spoke on the last seven sayings of Christ on the cross. The words were ones I had heard before, but the truths behind them gave me a deeper understanding and awe of what happened that day on the cross.
The one that stood out was what Chris said about Jesus’ words from John 19:26-27, when Jesus gave Mary to John as his mother and John to Mary as her son. Chris challenged that loving others like Christ means loving them “even when they have less pain than I do.”
That isn’t my natural tendency. Whenever I am going through a trial in my life, I want those around me to recognize the difficulties in my circumstance and cut me some slack. The LAST thing I want from others during those times is for them to ADD their problems to my problems. But the reason I feel that way is because I am selfish, the opposite of what Christ was on the cross.
The biggest barrier for being able to love like Christ, for me, is a lack of dependence on Him. Yes, troubles will come, but He doesn’t leave me alone to deal with them in my own strength. Instead, I can rely on HIS strength and peace in the midst of the struggle, and I can then allow His love to pour out onto those around me… even if their struggles seem insignificant compared to mine. (Colossians 1:10-12)
I don’t have to look far to see examples of this kind of love. God has blessed me with women in my life—many at FBC—who pour out God’s compassion and love on others despite the difficulties in their own lives. I pray that God makes me more like them—and more importantly like His Son—as He matures me in Him.