Jesus loves me, this I know, for the cross shows me so.
Jesus demonstrated the ultimate act of love in His sacrificial death on the cross. While many people might sacrifice for their friends and family, Jesus died for his enemies. Romans 5 tells us that “while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” As sinners, we are enemies of God, not just at odds, but completely opposed to Him.
Further expounding on this idea, Ephesians 2 begins by reminding us “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once live in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” The picture painted by this passage shows us as dead, helpless sinners who in our very nature were children of wrath. This depiction does not leave room for any merit within us. Left to ourselves, we are hopeless and helpless.
But Ephesians 2 continues with some of the most hopeful words ever written. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” Because of Christ’s death in our place, we have hope! Because Jesus loved us incomprehensibly, we can move from death to life. This is the message of Easter! This is the message of the gospel! This is the hope for our world today!
If we are going to love like Jesus, His love must compel us to share this hope with others. In the midst of uncertain times, people need hope. We have the only source of lasting hope, and we must share that truth with the people around us. We should be intentional about sharing the truth that Jesus is the only way to God. There are not multiple paths to God; Jesus is the only Savior. Our actions will reveal what we believe. If we truly have experienced the life-changing power of the resurrected Jesus in our lives, we must share that love with the people we encounter.
Maybe that means sharing the gospel via social media or posting about how God is working in your life. Maybe you can write a letter or send an email to someone you know who is struggling or going through a hard time, even if you are separated by a great distance. Share how Jesus has walked with you through trials in your own life. Offer to pray for someone and point them to the power of God to answer prayer. Perhaps your positive attitude in the midst of negativity will be the key that opens a door to sharing with someone about Jesus and the hope you have in Him. Perhaps meeting a need will create an opportunity to share the story of how Jesus changed your life.
Jesus is life itself, and He offers us true life in Him. The best gift we can offer to anyone is the truth of Jesus the Christ, our Savior, our Healer, our Deliverer, our Hope. We are meant to be transformed from death to life by the Christ who died in our place, but we are also meant to live in community with other people who have been changed by the power of the cross. The only way others will know the truth of the cross and be drawn into such community is if we share with them. This Easter, celebrate the Risen King and His work in your own life, but don’t forget to extend the hope of the gospel to others around you who may not have encountered Jesus in a life-altering way. Let them see the love of Jesus on the cross and the love of Jesus in you.