Friday, April 6, 2012

How Great Is The Love...

Jesus CrossDear Sisters,

Today is Good Friday. Today is the day that Jesus paid the greatest price, suffered the most painful death possible, showed the greatest level of love. It is the day He was crucified and gave himself up for us. John 15:13 tells us: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Truly this was the greatest sacrifice that has ever been made in the whole course of history...and its the greatest there will ever be for there is no greater sacrifice that could be made. On Good Friday we remember the death that even though happened two thousand years ago, is still the greatest death in all time, one that we will remember forever. One that gives us freedom from death and sin. We thank the Lord for His death. But we also celebrate the love of our Father. We realize how much He loves us.

So often, we cannot even begin to grasp the love He has for us. But a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reading this email which I've copied to share with you today, that Johanna sent to me. 

Lent - Thank you Jesus for the CrossThe scientific death of Jesus. At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty. At the time, crucifixion was the "worst" death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion, Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet. Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrists. Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There is a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into His wrists, that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so He could breathe. Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could not support himself with His legs becasue of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using His legs just to continue to breathe. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage. Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours. Can you imagine the suffering? A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from His wounds. From common images, we see wounds on His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side...but do we realize His wounds were actually made in His body? A hammer driving the large nails though the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But before the nail and the spear, Jesus was whipped and beaten. The whipping was so severe that it tore His flesh from the body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn. The crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp. Most men would not survived this torture. He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds. The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters {just less than a gallon} of blood. Not to mention the humiliation and pain from carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in His face and threw stones. {The cross was 30kg of weight, only for it's higher part, were His hands were nailed.}  Jesus had to endure this experience so that you can live with God in Heaven one day if you believe in Him. He did it willingly because He loves you!
For the past few days I've felt compelled to share this with you all today. Even though it isn't our scheduled time for an article, I still felt like I needed to share this with you all so you can realize just how much Jesus loves you! The common saying "Smile! Jesus loves you!" if often heard but do we really take the time to meditate on the words and grasp it's true meaning?

Dear sister, JESUS LOVES YOU! As you go about your day, and go into the Easter holiday, please keep this in mind. Jesus loves you!

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot,  and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, 
and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, 
   yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
{Isaiah 53}

Have a most blessed Easter!~Bethany

2 Words of Grace:

Rachel said...

Hi Bethany (and Johanna!), I'm Miss Rachel from over at Meditations of His Love {and Young Homemakers}...we've added your inspiring blog to our list of Sister Sites on our devotional blog. :) So I've been frequenting your blog now and I must say, this is a very poignant post!

I want to just thank you for sharing these thoughts and for reminding us of this great sacrifice our Lord made for each of us. What a powerful story of His love! :)

God bless you both!
~Miss Rachel~

Anonymous said...

Thank you girls. It really gives the picture of Christ's pain for US. The horrible pain. May God bless you both.
Emily J.