No Greater Love…
Today I read an article on a Marine that died during training. This man dedicated his life to fight for America in order to maintain our liberty as Americans. When he died, he donated his organs to be used for medicinal purposes. These organs have been used to save the lives of others. Society as a whole would consider this man nothing less than heroic, and rightfully so. A selfless man that gave up his rights so that we could keep ours, and even when he died, his altruistic legacy lives on through the lives of people that he indirectly saved via his organs. Probably not in the way he imagined it, but at age 24, through his death, this man’s life ambition of saving others by giving of himself has been accomplished. I am sure his father stood at his funeral and deeply mourned, yet was so proud. As I read this, I have not the slightest clue if this man knows Jesus, or if he is saved, or if he has “said the prayer” (whatever that means). But one thing I do know is that the Father is looked down from heaven in honor saying, “there is no greater love than that.”
This man just lived the gospel.
We, as Christians today, often think of Jesus’ sinless life and triumphant ministry on Earth, but rarely do we think about what He gave up before He got here. The Son, from eternity past, only knew complete bliss, marvelous light, and eternal harmony with Father and Holy Spirit. There was no darkness, no heaviness, no tears, and no pain—physically or emotionally. He sat on a throne as billions of angels worshipped Him day and night, night and day, “Holy, Holy, Holy…” One day the God-Head is hanging out, and over the worshipful angels and souls praising them, I imagine Jesus saying “Guys, now is the time. They’re too broken right now, I can’t stand it any longer. Before the creation of the world, I promised I would.” Without a single regret, He starts to walk out of heaven. I imagine the angels saying, “Master, where are you going? With a joyful smile on His face, He says, “To save my Bride from herself. I cannot stand to be apart from her one more day.” How did the angels respond to that statement? The book of 1 Peter says that angels long to look in to our eyes. I can imagine silence swept over heaven for the first time…they didn’t understand why.
Jesus enters earth. He begins his 33 year fast of His rightful glory and heavenly bliss. From eternity past, this is all Jesus knew. What did it feel like when He first had consciousness on this earth? It would be like us walking out of our perfect little postage stamp homes into the slums of India….times infinity. No more angels praising Him 24/7, no more natural perfect unity with the Father, no more throne. For 33 years, Jesus gave up heaven….so He could call you friend.
What did heaven sound like when they whipped Jesus for the first time and saw the flesh ripped off Jesus’ back? I bet they were all weeping. The one they have worshipped forever is now beaten beyond recognition. But Jesus? Isaiah 50 is a prophesy that talks about Jesus and it says “his face was set like flint…” as it goes on to talk about suffering. Hebrews 12:2 says Jesus died “for the joy set before Him”, namely, you. I think Jesus said, bring it on. You, my son/daughter, are worth this.
The Marine entered into the service knowing he could very well die, but he saw our freedom was worth his life and death. Jesus entered Earth in the same exact mentality (Gal 5:1). We are so quick to judge who is saved and whose not. But when I set my life next to this Marine next to the life of Jesus, I am deeply convicted when I discover this man lived a life more closely to the gospel than I ever have.