No Greater Love Than This
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A choice. A decision that would impact Heaven and earth. A battle between the forces of darkness and the glory of God. As you stood there in the garden, the future of the world flashed before your eyes, like a movie foretelling the fate of your creation. If you did not go through with the plan you saw the effect that choice would make. The hopeless searching blindly for something to hold on to, the hurting aching and dying to be healed, the cries of the lost poured out like the screams of an infant, and all of these people destined for a lifetime of devastation. They were all headed for destruction without you. Most of all, you saw us one by one, covered in sin and with out the hope of eternal life. Thinking of living with out each of us brought you to your knees. The very thought of seeing us lost forever made your heart bleed; however, if you made the choice to stay, you also knew what that meant. You saw your skin and flesh broken in two, your blood spilled out and your hands and feet pierced with a rusty nail to a tree. You saw your people that once praised you, cursing and spitting on you. You knew the whole world would turn their backs on you as you gave your life for them. Even though they would find no fault in you, they would still condemn you to the worst infliction of death. Down the road, after you had made this sacrifice, people would continue to turn their backs on you. Despite the love, grace and mercy you would give, people all around the world would deny your very existence. Your followers and believers would be persecuted for speaking your name and millions would never hear your name be spoken. Pleading with God for an easier way, you fell in desperation to the ground. Covered in sweat from the weight your heart bared, you wanted to give up. You could have very easily given up. At your command ten thousand angels could have taken you home; but you knew that was not a possible choice, because at that moment, in the garden, you looked towards the sky and saw my face. The very thought of me left no doubt or apprehensions in your mind. You knew before you came what you must do. You knew the high price you would pay to save your people; but you saw me with out you and that was enough to make up your mind. The price of our sins was nothing compared to the thought of losing us. It was an easier task to go through the pain and torture than to envision a future with out us. You knew it would not be simple, but you knew that your love was greater.
As you carried my cross through the streets of Jerusalem up to the hills, I wonder what your heart must have felt. Glaring stares and cursing tongues were thrown at you from every angle. You are God, you could have struck them to the ground, but your love was greater. Soldiers on each side lashed your broken body as you fought to stay on your feet. Blood streamed down your face as the crown made of thrones drove itself into your head. Your body was dying and this journey seemed endless. You could have still given up. Once again, you could have spoken a single word and been saved; but, your love was greater. Bruised, tattered and torn you walked along the angry streets with one goal in mind…us. The vastness of your love took away the pain you must have felt. Your heart was no longer heavy, just anticipating being with us again. As a child waits anxiously for his mother and father to return home, your heart could not wait to see us again. For you knew that the sin we carried would be taken away, and the wall that once separated us, would be broken down. In your heart, you knew what we could not see. And what we could not see, was your plan of love, grace and mercy; in order for us to see these things, you must be a sacrificed lamb. You knew it would not be simple, but you knew that your love was greater.
Mocking laughs now stretched your arms and in their hands held the nails that would break and pierce your skin. Heaven gasp as the hammer firmly struck each nail spilling out your innocent blood. They lifted the cross and placed it in the ground upon that hill. Overcast skies growled angrily at the world, watching the horror which now took place. Speechless you hung there with criminals, paying the punishment for doing no wrong. You did not deserve it. It was our cross which you were on, but you loved us more than to let us die this terrible death. Agonizing pain shot through your veins and blood seeped from your head, your hands and your feet. Your pure blood covered your face as you continued to wait for the end to come. An hour passed and you hung there holding on for us. The price of our sin was costing you a tortuous death, but your love knew we were worth it. Hours continued to pass and your strength was becoming weak. Your heart was becoming faint too. Thoughts of doubt filled your heart as you felt our sins beginning to take hold. In that hour, you stood face to face with every wrong that the world has done. You took on the lies, the murders, the adultery, the cursing, the stealing and every sin know to man. Heaven could no longer watch. As a dark cloud lurked over the cross, God could no longer look. He loved his Son but his Son now had to do this part alone. You felt him turn away and your cries were heard across the world. “Why, Father? Why have you left me?,” you shouted with the last few breaths you possessed. You knew this would happen and it was still not easy, but it was love.
In your final moments, as your last drop of blood fell to the ground, your heart waited for the sign. At God’s command, after all of our sins were accounted for, you knew it was time. Closing your eyes you saw each of our faces. A smile must have crossed your face, for you knew what was about to take place. Grasping for a single breath, you spoke the most significant, loving words any one has ever heard, “It is finished.” You had finished what you had come to earth to do, to save us from eternal death. You had cleared us from all sin and now made it possible for us to be with you. You had given your life in return for ours. Those words would now tell the greatest love story. The story of a God who loved us, his lost people, enough to sacrifice you, his only son, to be torn, broken and die for the wrong we have done, and all because of a love. A love that is so extravagant only you can fathom. A love so deep that leaves even satan puzzled. A love so undeserving but you wanted us to have it regardless. We may never understand what you did that Friday, but we know it was because of love and that is more than enough. This story is not completed however, for we now wait for the day when you return to bring us home. The wait will not be easy, but the hardest part was already done by you. We will continue to anticipate the day when we will be with you. The wait is long and the road is narrow, but your love for us is greater. Like children awaiting the return of their parents, we will anxiously wait for the day you pick us up in your arms forever. It will not be easy, but you have revealed to us, your love is greater.
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