There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (NLT)
Today’s the day. Zero Hour. The Day of Judgement. The day Jesus knew would come; and the disciples prayed that it wouldn’t.
Good Friday. Crucifxion Day.
After the Passover seder with his disciples, and a one-man prayer meeting in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus allowed himself to be betrayed by Judas to the authorities.
Jesus allowed himself to endure a kangaroo court as he was taken to various locations in Jerusalem during the night; tried by the high priests. He allowed himself no defense, nor did he protest despite the conflicting “witnesses” that were produced.
Jesus became a 1st Century victim of police brutality as the soldiers mocked, beat, spat, and placed a crown of thorns on him. He did not fight back, nor did he had his disciples fight for him.
Jesus willingly carried his own cross through jeering crowds to Golgotha-the “Place of the Skull”. Ultimately allowing himself to be nailed to the cross. He hung there between two thieves, mocked by all while he was slowly dying in the most humiliating way a Jew could die in his day.
Why Jesus? Why did you do it?
Because Jesus loved us, that’s why. Throughout his ministry, Jesus lovingly gave of himself daily: feeding the hungry, healing the sick, liberating the captive, and comforting the brokenhearted. Jesus also spoke truth to power on behalf of the powerless.
Through his suffering and death, Jesus gave of himself fully and completely. Jesus also spoke the ultimate truth to power on the cross; putting the powers that be to shame-giving them the Divine “bird” for all time.
To take it a step further, Jesus died in response to our sins. The sins of marginalizing the powerless, unequal wealth distribution, apostasy among the religious leaders, sexism, ageism, imperialism…. Sounds like the sins we deal with today. Our sins he addressed as he taught and served. And it was these sins he responded to on the cross, with love.
Jesus calls us to respond with love to the evils of our world. Not with the “militancy” you see with some fundamentalist evangelicals, but with the love that he showed. Even if we have to “crucify” our selves, our egos to do this; even if we face persecution (in whatever form), we’re still called to respond.
Thank you Jesus, for your ultimate and courageous act of love.