I recently saw a post circulating on FB. The image portrayed Jesus bloodied and on the cross looking sideways yet facing the person viewing the post. Words were splashed on the image, “i did this for you”; the expression of “Jesus” was more like a blackmail emotion. Imagine Him giving the look of “look can’t you see, you drove me to this?” , a look of condemnation and perhaps even a look of irritation – all this in the state of dying on the cross at that cross too! This is the work of the ‘artist’ obviously with his/her perception. Well, I could have been perceiving the message but to me that picture spoke a million of words.. and my response to that was, “Not Like THAT!”.
In my eyes, the Jesus I know personally and I long to know more and more deeply, more and more intimately, is of the exact opposite nature to that. He is totally focused on our Heavenly Father.
Even as a young boy when Mary and Joseph were searching for Him, His reply was “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” – Luke 2:49. Jesus refers to all that He does as, “the works which the Father has given Me to finish” – John 5:36.
In fact the totally surrendered nature is evident in so many situations. For example,
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me – John 5:30
In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prays with anguish at the thought of the trials and immense suffering ahead of Him. Nonetheless, His prayer shows His commitment to the Father and God’s purpose:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42
All what the Father does and thus all what the Son does is motivated by a deep love for us, His Children! Blackmailing, forcing.. isn’t of God. In fact God gives us free will, He gives us choice but He longs that we will make the right choice, He doesn’t want any of us to perish but to have ever lasting life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life – John 3:16
He doesn’t want anyone to perish, so He waits, He gives us time.. But if we choose the ways of the world rejecting Him, then that’s the consequence of our choice – not what He wants. It is pointless saying that if He loves us, He will not allow people to perish. Imagine if He came behind us with a stick – well that’s not His character, but if He were to do that, then we would complain about that too!
No He loves us, so He gives us free will! He doesn’t force. Yet He has made it clear how much He loves us!
He loved us, so He sent His one and only Son.. and the Son yielded to the Father out of love too!
None us like to be in a friendship or relationship with someone else where love is lacked. For those who feel caught or trapped in a relationship or loveless marriage, will vouch for how horrible it is. Do you think God would then emotionally blackmail us through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to get us into a relationship with Him?
Jesus Himself summarises all the law and commandments into two greatest commandments which is all about LOVE. It’s not about compulsion, it’s about love… Love isn’t love if it is forced. Love is love when it comes with a commitment from the bottom of the heart. That’s the love relationship that our Father longs to have with you and me.
We love Him because He first loved us – 1 John 4:19
He doesn’t love us the way we imperfect people love… He doesn’t have to nor does He use schemes and manipulation and what not to grab our attention… That’s the ways of the enemy.
No, our Father who created us and knew us even before we were formed loves us with an everlasting love. He gives us free will to choose Him or to reject Him, once we have chosen Him, He gives us free will to walk along the narrow path or to opt for the broad and easy path… It’s up to us what we choose but we will then face the consequences too.
What and Who are YOU choosing TODAY? What motivates you to do that – is it once again selfishness – of wanting to escape hell – or is it our of sheer love to be with Father with a overwhelming desire to soak in His presence and worship Him for eternity?
What do you choose?