God is a God of love. He is not a god of Hate.
His love was shown in more than one way. It was shown in so many ways but He showed His love no more than when He spread His arms and died for mankind.
The Lord’s Supper Instituted
26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
Jesus’s ultimate show of love was when He was nailed to the cross but even before that. He told the disciples that this would happen. He tore the bread and told them..”This is My body. Eat it in remembrance of Me.” Then He took the wine and said “This is My blood poured out for you. Drink it in remembrance of Me.” He loved us enough to instruct us to remember Him. He instituted something that Christians have been doing for over 2000 years. Remembering the One who died for us.
By this time Judas had already gone to lead the chief priests and Sadducee’s to where only Jesus knew where they were going. Jesus took them to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to God and wrestle with His doubts for the last time. He prayed that God would take the cup of poison away from His lips but instead of saying no, He said “Not my will, but Your will be done!”
In the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, it shows them in the garden. The last supper didn’t actually happen there but hey, they had a limited budget. From the supper Jesus goes and prays. In the movie He is played by Ted Neeley and through song, lets God know about His doubts. At the end of the song Jesus says
” God, thy will is hard,
But you hold every card.
I will drink your cup of poison.
Nail me to your cross and break me,
Bleed me, beat me,
Take me, now!
Before I change my mind.”
In Matthew 26:39, 42
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
Jesus could have said no. He could have walked away but He was an obedient Son and did what His Father asked of him. Even in the movie, Jesus did what His Father asked of Him.
His love for his enemy was so strong that when Peter sliced off the guard’s ear, Jesus healed him. Even in all the turmoil if an arrest, Jesus showed love.
49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
His love for us was so strong that when He was taken to Pilate, the first time and after He had been humiliated by not only Caiaphas but also Herod, He was taken to Pilate a second time. Pilate still wanted nothing to do with Him but knew he had no choice. Pilate ordered Jesus to scourged. 39 lashes Jesus would take. Each one was counted off. Jesus, according to the Bible, made not a sound. Did He cry out in pain, I don’t know. He might have. It is not mentioned in the Bible but that doesn’t mean that He didn’t.
The historian of the day said that by the time the guard was done with Jesus, His back was like raw hamburger. He was beaten and battered. Bruised and hit so many times that His face was all but recognizable. Yet He carried a half ton cross up the way of sorrows till He could carry it no further and Simon of Cyrene was pulled out of the crowd to carry the cross the rest of the way. Meanwhile Jesus was expected to walk up the rest of the way. Did he cry out in pain. Maybe, I think he did but the Bible records that He only said a few words as He walked up the way of sorrows.
27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Even then He shows love by telling them not to weep for Him but weep for the babies and the little ones and themselves. Not to worry over Him.
He showed more love than any other man once He got Golgotha. The place of the skull. The mountain had caves that formed the face of a skull. It was there that the ultimate show of love would be revealed. With each hammer blow on the nails, shock waves of pain would pass through His body. He screamed, I am sure of it. He was after all a man. He felt pain. Each blow on each nail, slicing through skin and into muscle and sinew. Tearing apart blood vessels. His body racked with pain and yet it was not over.
After Jesus had been nailed and then roped lashed around His arms so that they would not rip away, the cross was lifted up by winches and more rope, the cross was dropped in the ground with a thud that would have racked His body with so much pain that I think I would have prayed that they just kill me and get it over with. But I am not Jesus.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter is dumb, Jesus stayed silent for most of the pain and suffering but he did utter some words.
Jesus said 7 things while hanging from the cross. Each time He had to lift himself up by his feet so that he could get enough air to do so. The pain would have been excruciating!
The Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Jesus could have spit vile at them and cursed them. Treated them like scum, as most of Israel thought of them but He didn’t . He showed them compassion and forgiveness. He loved even the people who were trying killing Him. He cried out to the Father to forgive them.
And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Jesus was crucified with two other men. Both thieves. One joined the crowd and shouted arrows of hate at Him but one didn’t. He knew that they deserved everything that they were getting.
Luke 23: 40-41
40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
The second thief knew he had done wrong and repented for it. He was ready to pay for his crimes. The he said the one thing that gave him salvation.
42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Jesus knew that this man was repented and knew that he was sincere. He promised this thief eternal life. Jesus showed His love to this man.
26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
Jesus loved His mother so much. Mary was his world. He made sure that she was taken care of. He even gave her a new son. John, the disciple that Jesus loved the most, took Mary into his home as his mother. I am sure that Jesus was smiling when He said those words.
46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
He cried out to His Father. He cried out in pain and suffering. He cried out in need. He cried out in love to His Father and yet His Father turned his back on Him for God can not look upon sin. He cried out and yet nothing happened. He could have called the angels from heaven to come and save Him but it was not to be. This is what was supposed to happen. It was His destiny.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.”
Jesus knew that everything was ready. His death was near and that no one could stop it now. He has fulfilled scripture and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was who He said He was. He had stayed on the path and walked the walk that He had to. All this pain and suffering to prove WHO HE WAS!
30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Jesus chose the time death. He always knew where it would happen. That had been laid out long ago but He chose the time. He waited for it all to be in order. He then spoke the words that needed to be said. “It Is Finished!”
46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
The last phrase was the most important. Even in death Jesus had trust in God. He knew that God loved Him. It takes absolute trust to trust someone with your soul. Jesus had that absolute trust. At that very moment of Christ’s death, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from all of man kind was torn. Split right down the middle. Allowing for the first time for a normal man to be able to go and talk to the Father without any fear of death.
Jesus’s love touched so many people. It touched a Roman Centurion whose child was healed (Matthew 8:5-13). It touched a woman who was too afraid to speak to Jesus directly, but rather said “If I can only touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.” (Matthew 9:20). The blind man who was given back his sight with the use of mud (John 9 4-11). The adulteress that was dragged out to be stoned. They were well in their rights to stone her. Jesus could have said yes, stone her but he didn’t He showed compassion (John 8:1-11).
Jesus love was so strong that not even death could stop Him. He defeated death and corruption. Jesus was as dead as a door nail. He rose from the dead to fulfill the prophecies and to show that His love was so strong. Jesus loves you. He was born to die. He lived to show the way. He died to provide the way to the Father and He rose again to prove that we can defeat death! Jesus did it all!
Jesus is Love and Love is Jesus!