He got up from his knees and fearlessly faced the crowd come to arrest him. He stood silently before his accusers- first the religious leaders of Israel then Pilate. He watched his friends flee in fear; he listened to those around him mock him- the Son of God, and endured the physical torture of severe beatings. He walked the path to the hill of Calvary where the nails pierced his hands and feet and the sword punctured his side. He felt the blood trickling down his face from the painful sharp thorns that cut into his skull all the way around his head. The road his life was on brought intense pain and mental anguish… so why did he walk it for as the Son of God he could have completely changed his course. So why? The answer is simply… LOVE! Jesus loved his creation so much that he willingly walked his path so that we might be saved and reconciled with the Father. He also loved his Father and trusted in his plan. Remember his words in the garden? Jesus wanted a different route but he relinquished his wants and prayed for the will of the Father to be done. Jesus knew his road would end in victory!
When the women found the man dressed in white in Jesus’ tomb, they were alarmed until he told them-
“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.” Mark 16:6
Jesus new victory was imminent because he knew his Father’s plans were for good. What hope and joy this brings to my heart! I am a child of my Father’s and he has a path for me that will lead to victory! No matter how rocky or narrow or steep or dark the path may temporarily get, I know this path I walk ends with victory. Why? My victory comes as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice and because my Father loves me. How my heart sings within me this morn! Your praise is on my tongue, O Lord, for you are worthy! You walk with me on this journey… you even pick me up and carry me when I can’t take another step. I feel so overwhelmingly loved and blessed!
My dear brothers and sisters- believers and non-believers- God loves you so much! Even if you are unsure about whether God is real, God’s love for you is not diminished! I pray we all open our eyes a little more today to see the many ways God reaches down to his beloved creation to shower love on us all… Truly a beautiful thing! Amen!