At Christmas, we reflect on Mary and ask “Mary, did you know” (thanks to Mark Lowry). Did the young virgin have any clue how her life would be impacted? Thirty years she raised Him and protected Him, moving to stay ahead of the Roman executioners. Then three years of Him being His true self in the world, being chased and persecuted by the religious leaders. And finally a gruesome and tortured end. Maybe she did know what was coming, to some degree.
But Jesus knew.
He knew every moment of His life on earth.
He knew every word He would teach.
He knew every disease He would heal.
He knew every life He would change.
He knew every test the religious leaders would give.
He knew the twelve He will call closest to Him.
He knew the one who would betray Him (and yet still called him).
He knew every doubt His disciples would have.
He knew the end.
He knew His final prayer would ask for another way yet would fully submit to His Father’s plans.
He knew the legion that would come for Him.
He knew the eleven would cower and run, abandoning Him.
He knew every false accusation of the religious leaders.
He knew every strike of the Roman whip.
He knew every taunt and slap of the soldiers.
He knew every pain-filled step to Golgotha.
He knew every strike of the hammer to pound the nails.
He knew every insult hurled by the criminal next to Him and the crowds below Him.
He knew every minute of the six hours He would spend hanging on the cross.
He knew His Father would forsake Him.
He knew all of this. And He chose to go through it all. At any point He could have saved Himself and walked away. But He refused to waver from His purpose – “nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
That meant He took every insult, every slap, every lash, and every hour. “He was oppressed and He was afflicted” (Isaiah 53:7) yet He refused to defend Himself or save Himself. “… He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
Consider an innocent Man going through all that on behalf of someone else. Why would He do that?
BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTH IT!
You are so special and amazing to Him that He wanted to make sure there were no barriers between you and God. He wanted you to be part of His story. He wanted you to know the new life, the new hope, and the new heart everything He went through brings.
So maybe today you will take a moment to say “thank You!” to the One who suffered greatly and died willingly to for you. The One who proved His unconditional love in the most amazing way. The One who thinks every minute of every day that you are worth His love and grace.
Marie Fremin. 3/25/18