This post is the first in a series of devotionals for Holy Week. We will take a journey with Christ, through the Gospel of John, exploring the aspects of his great love that led him and empowered him to walk toward the cross.
When love is at work, it can’t be stopped. No price is too high and no sacrifice is too great. The apostle Paul reminds us of this as he described God’s great act of love in Christ, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
I pray you will find comfort and direction, as you consider the cross as the greatest expression of God’s great love for you.
Monday of Holy Week – LOVE CARRIES
John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was identified by the prophet John the Baptist as the Lamb of God. It seems like an honor and privilege to be identified as the anointed one of God. The honor of this title would be a long time coming. It communicated a weight Jesus came to carry. There is no mistaking that what John meant was he was going to be the sacrifice provided to secure the forgiveness of every human.
This title, the Lamb of God, makes me think of Abraham and Isaac, headed up the mountain to offer a sacrifice. God instructed Abram to sacrifice his son. But when Isaac asked where the lamb of sacrifice was?, Abram told his son, “God would provide the sacrifice.” And he did. God spared Isaac that day and provided a substitute; a ram in the thicket.
From the beginning, Jesus bore the weight of what we needed and what it would cost him. We have sinned. We are trapped under the curse of sin. We are in need of being restored to God and our place in the new creation.
He is the Lamb of God. He is the substitute for all humanity. He accepted that role before he ever left heaven. That is quite a weight to carry, but that’s what love does. Love carries.
The most clear vision I have of this kind of love was watching my wife with our four sons. For decades, she bore the weight of loving them. There were early mornings, and late nights, physically and emotionally demanding weeks and months. Even in the good times, she knew at any moment she would be called to service again. Carrying her kids was her purpose and she embraced it no matter the cost. She bore the weight of her title of Mom. It was an honor, but it also came with a burden.
Every step Jesus took toward the cross, every sermon he taught, every miracle he performed was done bearing the weight of the moniker, the Lamb of God. He did it willingly and even joyfully. He did this because love carries. Today, we want to take a moment to thank him for the love that carries.
It’s his love that kept him moving toward the cross that would give us the opportunity for freedom and forgiveness. It was his death on the cross that would defeat the tempter – the Devil. His love won that for us. His love carried that weight his whole life. He still bears our burdens to free us for His love.
Find the next devotional here. LOVE EMPTIES.
Thank you Jim for this great reminder!