John 15:13-“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Easter reminds us of the immeasurable sacrifice made by our Lord Jesus Christ, at Calvary, on our behalf. He willingly laid down His sinless life, to pay for our sins, redeem us from the curse of law, and reconcile us back to God. As grateful recipients of such great grace, we must not only embrace the blessings, but also imbibe its lessons. A few of the lessons are as follows:
1. We must each live a life of sacrifice in emulation and appreciation of the benevolence of our Savior and Redeemer. As He died for our sins, so we must also die to sin, living daily, a fasted life, in honor and acknowledgment of His Greater Love. To continue to live in sin, is to despise His sacrifice and become accessories after the fact, with those who mocked and humiliated Him.
If truly we believe that He died for a good cause-our cause, then the best way to remember Him is by living for that same cause, by remaining dead to sin and alive only in Him, Galatians 2:20. We do it, not for Him or to pay Him back, for we can never afford to, but for ourselves, to sustain the victory that He bestowed upon us at Calvary by the shedding of His Blood.
2. In sacrifice, Jesus put our consideration ahead of His own personal consideration. Likewise, we must put Him first, before other considerations, in our lives. Other interests and affections must come only after our Savior has been considered, not the other way round. Incidentally, this is one of the important lessons humanity is learning from covid-19. Thankfully, for believers, Jesus already taught us that lesson, more than two thousand years ago to put the Kingdom of God above all else. Covid-19, is only a timely reminder to us of the worthlessness of earthly riches. For us, as was for Apostle Paul, ‘to live is Christ, and to die is gain’- Philippians 1:21. Our primary concern daily must therefore be to do God’s Will and to please Him, before and above all else.
3. As He gave to us, we must equally give unto others, not tokenly, but sacrificially. The Cross epitomizes the virtue of giving exhaustively. God gave us His Son exhaustively. Jesus gave us His life exhaustively. What and how are we giving to others, if indeed, we are joint heirs with Christ, in our Father’s Kingdom?
Are you a giving-heir, or a receiving-heir? Is the Church today a giving church, or a receiving church? In this crisis, is the church really giving as Christ gave, or simply engaged in tokenism? Are we giving our best as Jesus gave us His best? What would Jesus do in response to the present crisis, were He still physically here?
Are believers individually and the church corporately, representing Him well? There are many around us who lack, especially at a time like this. We must give to them sacrificially, as true followers of Christ. ‘Sacrificially’, means it costs you some serious pain. It takes away from you something you would have preferred to keep to yourself.
At Gethsemane, Jesus felt the agony of the sacrifice He was about to do and prayed the Father to spare Him of it, but realizing the necessity of it, not for His sake, but for the sake of Mankind, He surrendered His life in painful sacrifice. Sacrificial giving can be a tough call especially in a season of general scarcity, but that is exactly the essence of Easter, and the true message of the Cross.
Remember the Widow of Zarephath, 1 Kings 17:9-17. If you horde what you have, and shut your ears to the cries of the needy at this time, whereas, you are in a position to put a smile on their faces, you are being ungrateful and proving yourself unworthy of the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary. You are like the wicked servant in Matthew 18:23-34, whose master was kind to, but who refused to be kind to others. Eventually, he lost all. May that not be your portion, in Jesus name.
In conclusion, note that only those who truly die with Christ, will rise with Him on the last day. Will you be in the number? Your choice will determine the answer.
Stay safe and God bless.