As our pastor was going through the last supper, Judas' betrayal, Jesus being condemned, tortured and led to the cross, the only thought that kept coming to my mind was the word "willing."
Several years ago at small Bible study we had at our house, one of my good friends made a point that has stuck with me ever since. We were talking about what Jesus went through leading up to the crucifixion, when my friend made this point...
Jesus was tortured beyond recognition, a beating most don't survive. Then He carried a super heavy cross on his back in this barely survivable condition. And He carried that super heavy cross in that barely survivable condition all the way out of the city and up a hill to finally be nailed to it and hung from it. He wasn't led to His death, He was fighting to get there so He could finish what the Father sent Him to do.Jesus was willing. He was so in agony over what was going to happen he was sweating drops of blood, but He was willing. He was anxious even to the point of asking God to not make Him go through this, but He was still willing.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13He was willing because He loves us. He was willing because He knew spilling His blood was the only way to completely wipe out our debt of sin.
"For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." Romans 3:23There had to be a death, there had to be a blood payment, to cover our sins, our debt. Jesus, the one sinless man, the only one not deserving of death, gave His life as payment. He was willing because He loves us that much.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3:16-17He was willing even while we were still His enemies (Romans 5:10), to give His life to save ours. And not only did He give His life, but He conquered the grave and is now preparing a place for us (John 14:2)!
I've read many stories about martyrs being killed while spreading this life changing news. But I've never stood face to face with people who are risking their lives on a daily basis because of Christ, until Wednesday night.
We had the opportunity to meet and pray for people who are running a church and spreading the Gospel in Mexico in an area where people are being threatened and killed daily. Just leaving their homes they risk their lives, and they are going out every day ministering to people all over. They are willing.
Lord, help me be willing to love without regard for safety, to love without condition, to love with reckless abandon, to love others as You do. Lord, help me be willing to spread Your great news next door and to the ends of the earth! Lord, help me be willing!