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?
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?
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.