We have just passed the Easter weekend. One cannot attend Good Friday and Easter services without reflecting on their sacred meaning. But beyond the beautiful choir specials and solos as well as the communion services, sermons, and liturgy, there is a compelling message that is often lost in the midst of the annual services.
That message is that Christ was entirely surrendered to His Father’s will. He had no reserves, reservations, or regrets. When His heavenly Father declared that Jesus’ brutal death on a despicable cross was the only means to redeem a rebellious, sinful humanity, Christ willingly accepted the task. He did not offer His life half-heartedly or when it was convenient. He gave Himself fully. Christ was absolutely committed to His Father’s will being done and consequently, He invested His entire life to its fulfillment.
As we reflect upon Christ dying on a cross, the key to His enormous sacrifice is not us. Despite popular Christian choruses proclaiming that Christ died with nothing but us on His mind, it is not us He was focused upon on that despicable tree. It was His Father. Christ hung on the cross not because of our need, but because of His Father’s will. If it had been primarily because of us, Christ might have grown disgusted with his own friends’ betrayal and desertion. He might have lost patience with those who mocked Him and beat Him even as He was dying for them. But Christ remained on the pole of execution, not because of us, but because He was determined that His Father’s will to be done in and through His life.
That is the challenge each of us face today. Just how committed are we to the Father’s will being done in and through our life? Of course we say we are, but does our life reflect the same determination that characterized Christ’s life? Are we willing to make the sacrifice required? Are we prepared to take up our cross? Can we endure the criticism and lack of appreciation that inevitably comes to every servant of God? Are we willing to forgo other pleasures and amusements in order to devote ourselves to accomplishing the Father’s will?
As I consider Christ on the cross, I am moved by His supreme sacrifice that purchased my eternal destiny. But I am also challenged. I cannot help but contrast Christ’s life with my own. How is it that God’s kingdom is currently being advanced through my life, and particularly through my sacrifice? Am I as committed to God’s will as Jesus was? Am I prepared to pay whatever price is asked of me? Will I trust God as earnestly as Jesus did?
Will the world feel the impact of my life in even a small fraction of the way it continues to be impacted by the life of Christ?