He went to the cross first

14 January 2014

I recalled today an image of what it was like for Jesus to die for my sins. These were the mental pictures my heart was seeing during one of the worship services at church early in my faith:

As i went through life without knowing Jesus, He was already by my side whispering to me at each important stage and event of my life. At each decision, at each turning point, somehow, Jesus was right there nudging and whispering guidance. But many times, i chose to ignore His whispers and went through with my mistakes. But each time, Jesus would try again and again, He would run alongside me, trying all sorts of ways to slow me down to get my attention. Sometimes i would stop and pause, but soon i would be on my way to the next mistake. Jesus was always trying to re-configure the way, He was always looking for His friends to guide me, talk to me, convince me. He would create opportunities for me to know Him better. But i would walk past Him.

Finally, Jesus got my attention, and i started following Him, but not all the time. But after knowing Him, i realized the gravity of my mistakes and saw them as they really were – life threatening. But by then, it was too late. The mistakes i used to make which i thought were not so serious became a way of life i was not able to grow out of. I was still doing the same things and the only difference was that i realized my path was heading toward certain destruction.

At this point, i cried out to Jesus and said, Jesus!! Help!! I can’t do this on my own, please help me! I am about to die! To which, i saw with my heart, that after all the chasing and efforts to direct my paths in the right direction, Jesus realized it wasn’t going to work too. Jesus realized i was still doomed and a lost cause. And it was at this moment when i saw Jesus leave my side and walk away into a distance where i couldn’t go. i thought He had given up on me, and i was on my way toward the end – until i looked up and saw Jesus nailed on the cross. And He looked down at me, and said to me:

“Ian, i know. I knew that despite my best efforts to stop you and to teach you, you weren’t able to change your ways. Even as sincere as you were, you were still going to fail and eventually you would end up destroying yourself completely. And so i had no other choice. I had to leave your side and i had to die for you instead – because i tried everything and found there was no other way to stop you – my last and only hope was to resort to dying for you instead because i love you so much. Now i’ve stopped the curse once and for all – i went straight to the end and walked before you so that you wouldn’t t have to die.”

Jesus, no amount of words can ever be enough to thank you. My Lord and my God, may i not forsake you. My only wish and prayer now is that you’d instill in me a grateful heart, overflowing with worship and praise. Jesus, walk with me now, to make my life a pleasing aroma to your sacrifice. Help me to live out these three words from now into eternity: “I love you”

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