by Pastor Mark Shupe
The day following the crucifixion of Christ was a dark day for the followers of Jesus, especially His disciples. Their Lord and friend was dead! Everything they thought Christ stood for and was going to do, suddenly had vanished.
The disciples had failed to grasp the third way that Jesus modeled His love for them and all of mankind – sacrificing His life on the cross so that anyone who believes in Christ would have life everlasting. Jesus had told His followers that there is no greater love than laying down your life for a friend (John 15:13). Jesus demonstrated this kind of love by making the ultimate sacrifice for others.
It was the incredible love of Christ for all that moved Him to give His life on the cross. John captures this truth in 1 John 4:9-10. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God’s love for us was manifested in the death and sacrifice of Christ on the cross where Jesus satisfied and fully appeased the penalty due to us for our sins. This was the ultimate act of love Jesus modeled not only for the disciples, but for everyone.
Spend some time on this day between the death and resurrection of Christ contemplating the amazing acts of love Jesus modeled by serving others at the Lord’s supper, submitting to the Father’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane, and sacrificing His life for all on the cross. As you do so, ask God to show you how you can more consistently model the love of Christ in your own life.