“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” ~1 John 4: 9-10 NIV
Jesus was sent from heaven … to die. To live a perfect life only to take the punishment for a sinful race, including me.
Did He know His mission? Yes.
Jesus said that He had “come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV).
After three years of ministry, Jesus turned for Jerusalem in time for the annual feast of Passover. A feast full of symbolism as the blood of an innocent lamb bought the deliverance of a people.
Did He know His destiny? Yes.
Jesus told his followers they were going to Jerusalem so that the prophecies would be fulfilled. That “He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. And they will scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He will rise again.” (Luke 18:31-33 NKJV)
Every day, He focused on His destination – a cross in Jerusalem. But, while His focus was on the cross, Jesus never lost sight of the present and the people around Him. He welcomed children. He talked to a woman at a well. He healed the deaf and lame. He raised others from the dead. And even on His journey to Jerusalem, He stopped to heal a blind man. Stopped under a sycamore tree to talk to a tax-collector.
Jesus lived every day to the fullest, while keeping His life’s purpose in mind and never wasting any opportunity to touch the lives of those around Him. Even on the cross, while suffering an agonizing death, Jesus took the time to pass the care of his mother on to John. Took the time to talk to a dying criminal on the cross beside Him. Took the time to ask God to forgive those who were killing Him.
Why? For me. And for you.
Oh, and the story doesn’t end there. Because Jesus saw beyond the cross to the ultimate prize. Not only resurrection from the dead but reconciling us back to God.
Jesus, “who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV).