Pain is definitely something we all try to avoid or at least we do not willingly seek it out or embrace it. How many of you have had surgery, given birth, had wisdom teeth pulled or have had a separated shoulder put back into place? Do you remember the pain? What about emotional pain. How many of you have ever gone through the death of a loved one, a divorce, a miscarriage, the separation from family and friends or the various other events in life that bring about great emotional pain! Most of these circumstances come about without us pursuing them. We try to avoid these situations at all cost. What if we could see, in detail, these painful events before they happened to us? How would that effect us and our behavior as we approached the chosen time? I can say, with all certainty my attitude would not be good! Think of Christ, He knew the intricate details of His crucifixion, the pain, flogging and humiliation…..YET, He willingly and humbly came to save us!
I am sure that Jesus came face to face with many of those who would play an intimate part in His crucifixion. Those who would raise a fist screaming, “Crucify Him!”, the ones who would rip pieces of His beard out, spit on Him, the individual who would be in charge of the flogging and the one who would nail Him to the beams of the cross! My reaction to the knowledge and understanding of the pain that this person would inflict on me, would not be a positive I’m sure!
What about Christ, how do you think He reacted when He came across these individuals prior to the cross? Did He whisper a prayer of forgiveness to the Father, before the act of their sin was committed? Would this individual remember this preordained meeting with the Messiah? Did his or her hate for Christ bubble over in this first encounter or did time turn up the heat of their animosity?! I ask myself..How could Christ look at them with love or forgiveness?!!
At that instant, the Holy Spirit commandeered my mind with the most convicting truth! As Christ gazed into the eyes of those individuals…it was MY face He saw! It was the evil from all of my sin, that would hurl the insults, rip His beard, flog and tear the skin and muscle and thrust the spikes into His flesh and bone! It was “ME” that He endured the cross for, it was the thought of doing eternity without “ME,” that He willingly fulfilled it all! That realization floored me! Here I was caught up in my pride and condemnation of all the awful “players” of the crucifixion …. only to realize that I was part of that production!
It was then that I began to understand what Love…Agape love was all about! This Love is what flowed freely when He encountered “ME” and all humanity, prior to His crucifixion. He saw it all unfold before He came, yet…He chose to come, so that I could know Him! He gave 33 years, in a human body to prepare and present this gift! I guarantee, you will not receive a more personal gift than this, on Christmas morning. It does not get anymore intimate or sacrificial than Christ…and this wonderful gift is ours for the taking. If you have already opened God’s gift to you, take time this Christmas to savor it and truly praise the One who gave everything He had for it!! If you have not yet received the Gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ …what better time than Christmas to humble yourself, confess your sins and ask Christ to come into your heart and save you from all your sins!! It will be the most memorable Christmas ever!
That if you confess with you mouth, ” Jesus is Lord ,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9 -10
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12more.
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