Loving our enemies is probably one of the most difficult concepts that Jesus gave to his followers, however he is probably one of the GREATEST examples of truly living what he spoke. How did he show his love for those who cursed him and eventually killed him? How did Jesus show devotion to those who were devious and hostile, attachment to those who antagonized him and affection for those who became his adversaries? How can we adopt that same attitude of love in our lives? Listen to this week’s inspiring Christian Questions for the answers.
After the greatest act of love ever committed, Jesus lay dead in a donated tomb. His loyal companions and followers were stunned, sickened by what they had witnessed. But beyond the gory details of this death, they were hit with the uncomfortable thought that perhaps all they had known the past 3 ½ years was a lie, fake, delusional. This man Jesus they had trusted and loved was dead. He died like everyone else. There was no last minute fire from heaven to kill the Roman soldiers or the angry mob of his own brethren demanding his death. There was no angelic rescue team to pull him off that dreaded piece of wood. He was dead. For real. No one was coming to save them from the Roman rule. They would not be sitting on anyone’s right hand in the new government. They had seemingly been duped. Now what? Well, three days later, it was imperative that the risen Jesus convince them beyond a shadow of doubt that all he had promised was REAL and was happening. His followers needed to be 100% convinced and energized to tell the Good News at any cost to all who would listen. The man Jesus was gone forever, but the spirit Jesus would have life within himself, and power to restore all of mankind back to his Father. They needed to urgently tell that story to you and me. How did they go from feeling ultimate betrayal and grief to absolute certainty and joy?
Thinking about the death of Jesus always produces a variety of emotions. On one hand, we feel a deep sense of gratitude, hope and praise, for without his willing sacrifice and ignominious death, we would all remain under the sentence of sin with no possible way out. In short, we and the entire human race would be doomed to destruction. On the other hand, when we think of his death we feel the dull, persistent aching pain of sadness, because we know Jesus was an entirely innocent man who was subject to the most unfair and devious kinds of deception, mistreatment and torture. Did you ever wonder what was behind the events that brought Jesus to the point of crucifixion? Did you ever think about who did what and why to position the Savior of all mankind as an enemy of the state?
The life of Jesus truly is the greatest story ever told, for because of his life, all of mankind will also have life. The life of Jesus reflects all that is good and selfless in humanity. The death of Jesus reflects all that is courageous and noble and the resurrection of Jesus – well, that reflects all that is godly and loving. Jesus truly did leave us a legacy to follow. Today we honor his resurrection by following some of the legacy he left behind for us during his last day.
Life, death and taxes – those are three things that we as a race have all come to experience. It is a cycle that we accept and a process we adapt to even though the ending is not to our liking. About 2,000 years ago, a man born of a woman came to change all of that. He was Jesus of Nazareth, born to live so that he could die, so that we – all of us – can live again – beyond the cycle that all of human history has documented. Stay with us as we honor his life, his death, and his kingship!
There have been many world changing events in human history. The printing press made knowledge accessible to the masses. The light bulb literally illuminated man’s course and fed an industrial revolution which brought previously unthinkable invention and convenience to many. Penicillin protected life in a new way. These and many other events changed man’s course and were breathtaking in their scope, yet limited and even restricted in their reach throughout history, for each of these events could only touch those then living or yet to be born. There was only one event at any time in all of history that would alter man’s DESTINY – all of man’s destiny, from Adam and on through all of the civilizations ever experienced, on an eternal scale. That event was the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is that event that we celebrate today.
It was some 2,000 years ago that the world was changed by the faithful, selfless and courageous actions of one man. It is today, as we do every year, that we celebrate this gift of life that Jesus gave us. Come and spend some time with us as we stop, look and listen to a portion of his story – the greatest story of the greatest life ever lived.
It was a long time ago – about 2000 years when he came. The world was going on just as before when he began preaching at age 30. He died young, at age 33½, unjustly crucified for deeds he did not commit. He had no family, he personally wrote no books or lessons to be handed down through the ages, yet his life and his death are the most celebrated in all of history. Why? Because he changed human destiny! How could the change have been good, for 2,000 years later the world seems worse off than ever! His actions and teachings in those short 3½ years of preaching were only the beginning, for he started a new cycle in human history, the results of which will be clearly seen and understood in due time. For now, let’s just take some time and honor the life, death and resurrection of Jesus – the son of God and the Savior of men!