.The [Com]passion of Christ.
One of the hardest and most honest questions I’ve asked myself was “am I truly in love with God or just the idea of God?” Did I just love the idea of a supernatural being that is perfect and loves people of the world and does good deeds, making people happy or did I love HIM?
I’ve been a Christian since the age of 13, and I know I’ve always loved God, but I don’t know if my mind truly grasped the concept of God’s love for ME at the time. To be honest, it still doesn’t. When some portion of the magnitude of it hits you though, it’s pretty mind blowing. Well, at least it was for me.
The best way to try and understand it is to think about the love a human parent has for his or her child. I don’t have any children so my younger cousins are the closest things people to that feeling that I have. I know I love them and always want them to be happy. As much as they may get disrespectful at times or get on my nerves, when they hurt I hurt. My heart genuinely breaks. You want to understand them, have them love you back, protect them, and guide them no matter how long it takes for them to see your POV.
God loves us so much and wanted such a genuine relationship with us that He came down to our level, in human form, so that we could relate to him. Jesus wasn’t just some random guy sent from the front office [of Heaven], but He was God Himself. See in the Old Testament, things began to take a turn from the relationship type of religion to the bad type of religion; towards empty rituals without a genuine heart behind it. People were just following rules .
God doesn’t want forced love. He doesn’t want you just doing “good” things; He want you to have a real relationship with him. He came down in human form and literally showed us how to live with love and compassion through His actions as Jesus Christ. Though many people mocked Him and rejected Him he still showed them kindness. If you take a moment to truly think about the kind of love you must have for people to treat them like this, it’s amazing. He didn’t want any material compensation (sips tea to some pastors out there). He healed and restored to anyone who believed without compensation. In fact He would even say “don’t tell anyone.” He didn’t record himself while He was doing good deeds to upload later for people to say (sips tea again lol) He plainly stated that He came to serve and fulfill His father’s will; and His unconditional love was the pure catalyst for that kind of compassion.
Not only did He come in human form but He ended up being a physical and spiritual sacrifice for our sins. See, in the Old Testament, in order to atone for your sin, a sacrificial animal, usually a lamb, had to be laid on the alter with four corners and killed. The blood of that animal then had to be smeared on the wall in order to complete it. A priest smeared it and after doing all you had to do, you were THEN forgiven. That’s the cliff notes version.
When people say God sacrificed His Son for the atonement of our sins, it’s not just metaphorical. It was literal. Jesus Christ, LITERALLY took the place of the sacrificial animal for us. He was physically placed on a cross (with four corners) and His blood was shed. Instead of the lamb being pronged up on a post, His body was. His blood was shed and smeared. All so that you and I can not only be forgiving of our ALL our sins, but receive eternal life, healing, joy, and all the things mentioned in Rev 5:12. (power, wisdom, strength, wealth, honor.. Allat!) That’s why you don’t HAVE to accept anything life gives you yesterday, today, or tomorrow because Jesus died for it forever AND most importantly, He overcame. You don’t even have to accept death because He overcame THAT!
So remember when I said keep in mind the context of a parent’s love for a child? To sacrifice your son in this manner for the sake of OTHERS, is major. Like, how could you deny God’s love for you? When I think about this I am overwhelmed, humbled, and grateful. I always say I’m so grateful to my ancestors who endured beatings, lynches, etc. so that I can have many civil freedoms. And they are just people. Look at what Jesus endured so you could have freedom from sin and salvation for an eternity! And it’s not like He even wanted to do it. He said “not MY will…but yours.” That is TRUE sacrifice. And now we get the luxury of all these “wont He do it “testimonies not by merit, but by grace.
Stop chalking everything up to “it is what it is” and “I’m JUST human”. No. You are a child of God. And if you are saved then His Spirit lives inside of you. You are of Him yourself! Now don’t get all Kanye on me, but get to know who you REALLY are in Christ and you’ll find that you are A LOT greater than you even realize and you can overcome more than you even realize. I’m not saying this as “fluffy” encouragement. I’m saying it because it is the truth! I feel like this is the perfect time for a cliché ending like “Jesus loves you!,” but no really, He does.