At this time of year we see “baby Jesus” everywhere. But have you really taken the time to realize that Jesus was really a baby??
One day when I was pregnant with my first son, Ryan, it hit me that Jesus was a baby. Ryan was rolling around inside and I thought, Mary felt this with Jesus. I can’t even imagine the awe and wonder of carrying the Savior.
My thoughts rambled on until I reach the typical “Eastertime pictures” that we all have of Christ. And that was when it hit me, Jesus was God’s son. I thought of the time when Jesus was baptised by John and God spoke up (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22.) God said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” He said several things in this very short statement. He recognized Jesus as His Son. He let everyone know that Jesus was His beloved son. And He was proud of Jesus. I tend to think that what the world is lacking today is more father’s willing to step up and claim their sons, let them know they are loved, and that they are proud of them. Maybe not even just fathers, but men in general, building up the younger generation of men. Ah, but I digress.
Then I drifted into the gruesome part of the “Easter” picture. It was then that a realization as a parent hit me. Even if you are not a parent, I’m sure it won’t be hard to follow me on this. Imagine, being a parent, or a responsible adult for a child. And standing by as that child is beaten, spit upon, ridiculed. Most of us wouldn’t stand by and watch that happen if we came upon the scene where the child was a stranger, let alone someone we know, or a blood relative, and especially not our own child.
We’ve all heard a pastor or two talk about how Jesus endured voluntarily. That he could have called on multitudes of angels and they would have rescued him. And I’m sure we’ve heard many talk about how hard it would have been for Mary, but you know what? Mary, really couldn’t do anything about it anyway. She wouldn’t have even made it far enough to touch Jesus without being stopped. She really was helpless in the situation. Heart wrenching as that might be, I turned my thought to God. God could have. God could have stopped it all in a heart beat. One spoken word from the creator of everything before him could have ended everything. Imagine that … no don’t just read this … imagine it! Your son/daughter/niece/nephew/neighbor is being beaten, abused, brought within an inch of their life, and you HAVE the power to stop it, yet you sit by and watch it all happen! Could you? Would you?
How about this one? You have two children and you have to make a choice of which one is going to endure all that. It’s up to you which one of them you will VOLUNTARILY allow to endure such pain and agony. Which one of your children will you choose to suffer, bleed, be bruised? All the while having the power to stop it in the blink of an eye. Could you do it? Would you?
You know, if we really think about it, God made that very choice. And you know what? He picked the other child. He spared you, He VOLUNTARILY sat by and watched one of his children suffer so that his other child, you, wouldn’t have to. Jesus, His very own son, was chosen to suffer over you, his adopted child.
I am thankful for Jesus and what he has done for me. Without what he did, I wouldn’t be able to call God, Father. Without him, I couldn’t have a relationship with God. I don’t want to diminish what Christ did for any of us. But I also don’t want to forget what God did for us. God is a father who stood up, said these are BOTH my children, and I am willing to sacrifice this one (Jesus) so that this one (me/you) won’t have to suffer. I am willing to sacrifice MY son, whom I LOVE, and am WELL PLEASED. He choose the “good” son over the “bad” child. Yes, we are the bad children, we are the ones that always get in trouble. That give God the gray hairs. The one Dad always has to bail out. He CHOSE to spare us and offered up the one that made him nothing but proud.
Do you really get that? Don’t leave this spot until you get just how much God loves you.
Now THAT, is a Father’s love.