“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Before His (Jesus’)death, there may have been many questions especially for those nearest and dearest to Him.
Many “why’s”, “when’s” and “how’s” must have been swimming about in their hearts and minds, presenting for them an unprecedented quandary.
Why must you die? Why must you leave us?
When will you establish your kingdom? Why can’t you just do it now? You raised Lazarus from the dead, surely you are able to overthrow a government and set up an earthly kingdom?
If you are going to be executed on a Roman cross, a place reserved for slaves and criminals of the worst kind, how are you possibly going to save us all? A crucified Messiah – that doesn’t make sense!
After His death, there would be many controversies and debates surrounding Jesus Christ. The events of Easter weekend would open up Christological and Theological discussions that would continue throughout the centuries, but there was one thing Jesus was not going to leave unattended. There was one question He was not going to leave unanswered; one thing He was not going to leave open for interpretation, and that, Dear Friend, was for whom He was doing this.
For whom was he going to suffer and die? For whom was his body going to be broken, and his blood going to be shed?
Peter – you will deny me - but “this is my body, given for you; this is my blood shed for you”.
Judas – you are about to betray me for 30 pieces of silver - but “this is my body, given for you; this is my blood shed for you”.
Thomas – you will doubt - but “this is my body, given for you; this is my blood shed for you”.
Most of you will desert me in my hour of need - but “this is my body, given for you; this is my blood shed for you”.
Sunday after Sunday, the words of institution are said from altars across our world, at the Lord’s Supper, reminding us all that what was suffered, what was endured on Calvary’s cross, was for you, for me, for us!
What is this meant to invoke? A sense of guilt or shame? Or could it be that perhaps as we do this “in remembrance of Him”; we are to be reminded that He remembered us; we are to be reminded that we are so loved, we are so treasured by this big and awesome God, that He would die for us?
Of the many questions that the disciples were left with at the last supper; of the many questions that you and I may be left with today – a question upon which no shadow of doubt can be cast, is the question of love.
Do we understand how he could love us? I can’t. But, when I hear the words, “given for you; shed for you” I know, and am so glad, that He does!
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” (John 15:13)
(Extracted from the book “Pictures of the Passion:A Visual Journey to Calvary” by Wayne George. Book available from Amazon.com).