But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:4-5 (EHV).
So we’ve been sinful and Jesus gave Himself for us despite that. Have you ever really noodled that thought? Would you die for Jeffrey Epstein? Or Charles Manson? Would you die for the bully who targeted you for a year in third grade? Or your ex? Would you die for the Nazi concentration camp guards who willfully, willingly sent people to their deaths (or pulled the trigger themselves)?
Jesus did it without hesitation. In fact, he did it willingly, out of the most extreme love and devotion we could think of.
Not to make light of it, but you may be thinking “I get it. Jesus. Gotcha. I’m not Jesus.” No, you aren’t. None of us are.
Represent Jesus anyway.
It’s mind-blowing how the New Testament is replete with proofs like Paul’s of how Jesus died for us. It’s also replete with statements from Jesus about the power of faith. Think of what He said about tiny faith (the size of a seed), or power over nature (as in how He commanded the fig tree), or Him commanding the waves when the Disciples were terrified, or moving mountains. He wasn’t speaking in purposefully hyperbolic statements even though they were powerful and dramatic. Have you considered that He may have simply been stating a fact?
We who were once undeniably sinful can have the same abilities of faith that Jesus does? Yes. And yes again. And yes. ANYTHING we ask for in true faith in Jesus can be done.
So, I’ll ask you again: those despicable people I mentioned: would you die for them?
Your response: “NOT FAIR! So I’m saying that, yet because I feel even a smidgeon of resentment or anything other than pure love, I’m disqualified? I’m not good enough?” Yes and no. Yes, you’re not good enough on your own, and, no, you can’t do anything to make it right. Because Jesus already did. You and I don’t have to do anything to add to or complete that. He already did everything. Yet if we hold on to things of the past – including resentment or the conscious vestiges of forgiven sin- then can we truly expect to think we’re acting like Jesus? He never did those things.
When Peter remembered he was walking on water, he started to sink. So it is with us. Yet in His mercy, Jesus made that walk possible. He does for us as well. Should we be willing to die for those who are detestable? You know the answer. Represent Jesus anyway.
For further reading: Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 4:35-41, Mark 11:22-24, Acts 22:16, Romans 11:14, Ephesians 2:9, 1 Peter 1:3, Titus 3:6
Lord, forgive me and help me to let it go. Then help me to do Your will.