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  • Writer's pictureNeva Wengerd

The Love of Jesus

My little heart was pounding as I stood in the shadows of the garden, unsure of what was going to happen. I had been following Jesus and His disciples all night, but something felt different about tonight. Something was amiss, and I wanted to find out what was going on. Jesus was praying, crying out to His Father, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the light of torches. I strained my eyes to see through the darkness, and as I watched, too afraid to move, a huge crowd of people armed with swords and clubs marched towards Jesus. As they drew closer, a man that I recognized as one of Jesus’s disciples, stepped out and gave Jesus a kiss. “What could this mean?”, I thought to myself. I watched in horror as others stepped out of the crowd and laid their hands on Jesus and seized Him. “No, no, don’t take Him, not Jesus, He’s my friend”, I wanted to cry out, as I remembered the time that I had sat on His lap and heard His kind words, but my lips seemed to be frozen as were my feet. I could not tear my eyes away from the scene playing out in front of me. As they led Jesus away, I finally got my feet to move forward and followed the crowd at a safe distance. I followed them all the way to the courtyard of the high priest. I couldn’t hear what was being said as I didn’t dare get too close, but with tears rolling down my face, I watched as they spit in my dear Lord’s face, slapped Him, and mocked Him. All through the night this continued, and I knew I should go home because father and mother would wonder what had become of me, but I just could not pull away from the scene. The next morning, they led Jesus to the governor to receive His sentence. I listened as the crowds shouted, “crucify him, crucify him,” and I watched as they hit Him with a whip until His back was completely torn open. When they placed a crown of thorns on His head and blood ran down His face, I had to turn away. I could not bear to see Jesus like this. He was battered, torn, and bruised, yet they continued to torture Him. I joined the crowd that followed as they led Him away to be crucified. The torture continued as they pounded the nails into His hands and feet, one at a time, with blood gushing out of almost every place possible. As He hung there, suffering, and dying, I heard Him call out, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!” I fell to my knees. There He was, in an unbelievable amount of pain, but even then, Jesus was concerned more for the people around Him than for Himself.

When I stop and think of all the suffering that Jesus went through, it does bring me to my knees. He went through this for me! He went through it for you! He endured so much pain and suffering, all so that we could go free! It is overwhelming to think that He has such a great love for us. He has done and is doing so much for us; more than we could ever pay back. The good news is that Jesus is not asking us to pay Him back. Salvation is a gift that He offers to all of us. All He is asking is that we follow Him with our whole hearts and our whole lives. He wants every little part of us. So often, I want to only give Him part of my life, and still do the things I want to do, but that is not what God asks of us. He is asking for steadfast commitment and dedication to Him. He wants us to strive to live as He teaches and to be fully committed to Him. When I step out, accept the gift Jesus is offering, and enter into a relationship with Him, I want to give everything to Him. Serving Him becomes a joy and not a burden. Friends, I invite you to join me in striving to live fully for the One who loves and cares for us so much, that He went through an extreme amount of pain and suffering, and ultimately gave up His life so that we could be set free!

Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24


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