Published On: Thu, Mar 3rd, 2016

What Kind of Love Is This?

FillingupBy Dr Steve Danso – As Easter approaches, one thing that keeps crossing my mind is Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ released a few years ago.  A bit squeamish, I haven’t watched the movie in full simply because of the sheer brutality of the scenes, but I am contemplating mustering the courage to watch it in full just to apprise myself of the impact this monumental movie has on evangelicalism.

So many who have watched the movie say that the movie fed on their angst not only because it failed to address the atoning significance of the death of Christ, but also how sickening, gruesome and the almost non-stop wanton brutality it relays.

Would some people describe it as an exaggeration? Certainly.  But I, personally see it as a real depiction of what our Savior went through to redeem us from our sins.  We were close to ‘death,’ near extinction as you may describe it and Jesus Christ could never take His eyes away as the grim pall of death hung over us.  He knew the fate that awaited Him here on earth, but He still felt that going through the humiliation, bruises, torture and death was a relief to Him.

Why did Jesus go through all that?  Is my life worth His death?  What kind of love is this?  These are the questions we should be asking ourselves as we contemplate on the celebration of Easter.  Anytime, I ran through these questions, tears well up in my eyes because I know that I am not doing enough to make His death on the cross worthwhile.

I think about the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ on the back of a borrowed donkey, the multitudes that came out to welcome Him while laying their cloaks on His path and the waving of palm branches, praising Him as the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, the Savior as He rode to the temple to teach, heal and give comfort to lost souls and ask Him to strengthen my resolve to worship Him all the days of my life.  Yes, I shudder at the thoughts of turning away from Him.

Jesus came to give us life and make us heirs to the throne of grace.  Apostle Paul sums it up In Colossians 2:9-12: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.  In Him, you were also circumcised in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men, but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

Simply put, He is the epitome of all that is awesome!  Our toils and struggles to grow and mature in the Lord is an effort we must diligently pursue.  But if we have been given fullness in Christ, there is nothing we can do to experience God’s love than what we already experience because when He sees us, He sees His own beloved son.  This is the reason Paul reiterates in the Book of Romans: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

The founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, was returning home from a service one night when a man robbed him of the little money he had on him.  As the robber was leaving, Wesley called the man out and told him that he had something else to give him.  As the surprised robber turned, Wesley said; “you may live to regret this sort of life and if you ever do, remember that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sins.”

The thief hurried away, but Wesley prayed that his words might come to pass.  Several years later, a man gave Wesley an enthusiastic handshake after a Sunday service and introducing himself as a Minister of God and successful businessman, he told Wesley that he was the robber who robbed him some years back.  “I owe it all to you,” said the repentant man.  “Oh no, my friend,” Wesley said, “Not to me, but to the precious blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin.”

Jesus died on the cross without regret when He took sin upon Himself and graciously bore our punishment so that we might be saved.  A lot of people who watched the Passion of the Christ movie came out with teary eyes, a mixture of humility and somberness, fright and even shock.  They could not believe the frightening pace of brutality that was unleashed on a man, who will eventually die to set us free.

But that is the reality.  The brutal content of the movie correctly depicts what our Savior endured.  It gives us a sobering reminder of the depths of our sin and the amazing level of God’s love.  It’s unfortunate to see so many people living ‘on their own’ today.  They revel in their fortunes, their businesses, jobs, and possessions without sharing thoughts about how they reached those heights.  This Easter, spare a thought about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  He paid the ultimate price for our freedom and our lives should reflect the debts of gratitude that we owe Him.  His banner over us is love.

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