Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed
As a child, I always thought Jesus was being punished for some mistake he had done. I kept on wondering what kind of wrong he might have done that made God that much angry. That was before I came to learn that he died for us. Here is one whom the heaven, earth and below the earth’s knees bow down at the mention of his name and the tongues confess that he is Lord.One in whom we live, move and have our being, yet he let himself fall down at the weight of the cross , just for YOU and ME that we may be healed. How humbling! What fierce love!!! He falls but gets back up and soldiers on that we may suffer no more.
As we carry on the different types of crosses mentioned in the previous blog we may be outweighed by them that we fall down but it’s not a time to give up or give in it is a time to soldier on like Christ our role model. It could be that our spouse is not willing to have a conversation with us, our loved one’s terminal illness is not getting better despite the numerous medications, the job you got pays peanuts and can’t help but live from hand to mouth, the child doesn’t heed any advice you give, the parents give ultimatums that have to be met for you to visit them at home, the in-laws won’t stop pestering you with petty issues that is none of their business, the sibling who makes you sick of worry because he is not responsible enough, the course you so much want to pursue filled up its class for the semester with those who paid the whole semester’s fee and so you were left out till the next academic round, the debt that has accrued to the point of the court wanting to auction some of your assets to regain the money and so forth and so on….
Then that Jesus Christ told us to love our neighbors as ourselves was not a mere coincidence or accident. In other words, the kingdom of God was for those who love fiercely. Jesus Christ’s being the perfect example of dying for self for the sake of all. His perfect self-sacrificial love saved us from ruins. With this thought, then our neighbors are those close to us: our loved ones who in this case are our brothers, sisters, friends, family (Remember Jesus called us friends, we are joint heirs with Christ) Then, are we willing to take a fall for our loved ones so that we achieve that common goal that both parties so much desire?
Jesus Christ who is Lord, king, holy, righteous, unblemished, the lamb of God took a fall for you and I.
Lord Jesus I realize how much I fail to take a fall for my loved ones, to love them as I love myself. Many are the times going the distance for those I care about seems so effortful almost painful. I realize how dying to self for those I care about is important to you Jesus. I learn that when my cross seems heavy and I am outweighed by it then I fall down, I have to pick myself up and try again, do it again…..for LOVE. The best lesson is that, in the falling with my cross, you are there with me. You command the angels with regard to me to guard me. (Psalms 91:11) You understand me PERFECTLY and as long as I cling to you. You will deliver me. (psalms 91:14). Let me love others as you love me, in the power of your love.