In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself. Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!’ Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him. (Mark 15:31-32)They were dead right! He had lived His entire life in disinterested benevolence, saving others at every step. He had always put others before Himself. And now, once again, others must come first. What His assailants did not understand is that Jesus could have saved Himself. Never was His back against the wall. What He was enduring was voluntary, of His own volition, His own free will. But in order to save others, He must not now “save Himself!” Although He could save us, and He had the power to save Himself, He could not do both.
Take a moment to meditate on the following four passages in the above context:
“Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father”s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal.” (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 753)
Jesus felt, “Forsaken among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more . . .” (Psalm 88:5)
Yet, in the midst of feeling completely helpless to save you and I and Himself too . . .
“Jesus did not count heaven a place to be desired while we were lost.” (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 417)
“He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself.” (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 693)
I stand in front of this kind of self-abandonment, this kind of love and I am silenced. With tears in my eyes, my heart reaches away from my own self-centeredness, my own pursuits, and I reach out to a love like this. Could this be true? Is this really what God is like? God, do you really love me like this? Will you really love me regardless of the cost to Yourself? I feel the arguments rising, “Please God, don’t give up heaven for me, I’m not worth it.” Yet, I sense Him whispering, “I didn’t do it because you were worthy. I did it because I love you . . . and you can’t change that. Come, let me enfold you in what your heart has always been longing for.” I thank Him this week for His love for me. May your heart, dear reader, join mine in loving Him back.
I wish you God’s best this week.