As believers, we’re told to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection often. Of course, we do that on Easter and any time we have communion at church. But I encourage you to do it even more often than that. There is nothing preventing us from taking communion at home in our prayer closet and thanking Jesus for what He did for us on the cross any time we choose. When I think of Jesus’ sacrifice, I think of the portion of scripture from Mark 14:35-36 which says:
"Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 'Abba, Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'”
That, of course, was in reference to Jesus right before he would be taken and crucified. I challenge you to try and imagine this moment in Jesus’ life. From the time his mission was revealed to him up to this very moment, he knew that he was going to die for all mankind. Could you imagine knowing the time and manner of your death? There is never a time when we are ready and prepared to be tortured. Jesus knew what was coming and he knew it was coming soon. He agonized even to the point of not wanting to go through with it. Being fully man he asked that God allow this burden to pass from him. But even in his agony, he was faithful to God, obeying his will. It pains me every time I read it. I try to identify with Jesus’ state of mind as if I were in his shoes. How would you feel if you knew that you were about to be tortured and crucified, knowing that God has the power to stop it, but ultimately releasing your will and accepting God’s? Wrecks me every time I think about it. And it is something we should think about often, so that we don’t take Jesus’ sacrifice for granted. But praise God that he is alive today interceding on our behalf even as you read this.
Imagine yourself in Jesus’ shoes when he prayed to God the night before he was taken to be crucified. What if you knew you would be taken tonight and crucified for something of which you are totally innocent? And what if you had total power to stop what was about to happen to you, but God called you to go through with it. Jesus chose to sacrifice himself for all mankind, but that didn’t lessen the fear of what was about to happen, nor the incredible pain and humiliation that he endured. Jesus, the son of God, the creator of life itself, did this for us. He was the only one who ever took on flesh and lived without sin. We honor lots of people ever year for their sacrifice to mankind. But no one comes close to what Christ did. And even though we have our freedoms in America, no one has won us freedom from eternal damnation except Jesus. I encourage you to remember that often, even when it isn’t Easter or communion Sunday.