Self-Care Sunday Devotionals: He Laid Down His Life for Love

Even though I grew up in a “Christian” home, there was actually a lot of brokenness there. Because of this, the message of true love never really made its way into my heart. And to protect my heart from further pain, I also built an almost entirely immovable wall around it, that is, until I finally surrendered my life to Jesus!

But even after I started learning more about his death and resurrection, I was very bothered that even though I understood with my mind why it was all very crucial to our salvation, my heart was still dulled to the understanding of how to emotionally empathize with his suffering. And I also knew that this was not something I could overcome without divine intervention. And so, I prayed that God would help me overcome this dullness I felt, so I could also learn in my heart to fully appreciate Jesus for all he had done for us!

But then one day when I was reading the Gospel of John, which I had read many times before, and I came across “John 10:17-18” again.

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

And as I stopped to meditate on this passage, I felt the spirit of God speak to my heart! And suddenly I couldn’t believe that I never really understood before, that Jesus wasn’t forced by anyone to go to the cross…not by the Jews, not the romans, and certainly not by his Father!

And then it also hit me like a smack in the face… because Jesus was God in the flesh, he could have at any point walked away from all of that suffering. But in fact, everything that Jesus ever did, including preparing himself for his death…and enduring the humiliation and the total destruction of his body…All of it, was entirely by his choice, and his choice alone.

And instead of trying to save himself, though he was completely innocent of all wrong doing, he chose for our sakes to do the will of his Father, not for his sake but for ours, just to give his life for all of the sins we’ve committed,but are unable to pay for.

But that’s not all…because then he did the hardest thing of all…

Something that I can’t even fathom doing.

Jesus, our redeemer and friend…The greatest love of our life… Knew full well that accomplished this task, meant that his father must also remove his very presence from him.

And for 3 days Jesus was left totally alone without the love of his Father…

To pay for the heavy burden of our sins, by dying a terribly painful and tragic death…

A death meant for us!

And suddenly like a flood, the spirit of God filled my heart with such a terrible and beautiful feeling, that our savior Jesus loved us all so much that he willingly gave up everything… including his Father’s perfect love…

Just so that he could open up the way for us, through his sacrifice, to be perfectly loved by his Father!

Hi, my name is Jeannette, thank you for allowing me to share some of what I’ve learned about how very much Jesus loves us!

You can read more about who I am and the story of my life, as it pertains to how God has always worked through it on my blog, Sharing My Hope.

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