When most of us think of love, we think of people who are nice, giving, and consistently willing to serve. And that’s true. Oftentimes, love does look like that. But, there is something different about the love Jesus has for us. Something that makes it so much greater.
A common fear most people have in high school (or as adults!) is being humiliated in front of a group of people. No one wants to be the person who gets rejected or suffers public embarrassment. Along those same lines, no one wants to get punished for something they didn’t do. We care a lot about what people think of us. Even our closest friends probably wouldn’t willingly sign up to face these things for you—even if they do care a lot about you. Rejection, embarrassment, and taking the fall for someone else’s mistakes is tough. Which is what makes what Jesus did so amazing. Right after Jesus was arrested and taken away to be crucified, Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends, rejected Him three times (Matthew 26:69-75). Those who beat Jesus made fun of Him for claiming to be the Son of God, pretending to kneel before Him and tearing off His robe in front of everyone (Mark 15:17-20). Can you imagine? On top of the physical pain there was the public humiliation. Still, Jesus allowed it all to happen. He let them beat, bruise, nail, and hang Him for sins He didn’t even commit (John 19). And He didn’t do a thing to deserve it. He did it with us in mind. To show us how far He was willing to go to make sure we knew how big and lasting and far reaching His love for us is. Jesus was willing to take on the toughest task—death, with humiliation and rejection and loneliness—so that we may have eternal life and victory through Christ. There’s truly no greater love than that.
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus was willing to take on humiliation, rejection, and even death on your behalf? What does that tell you about how much He loves and values you?