Think for a moment about Jesus. Imagine him hanging on that cross dying for all mankind. What was going through his mind at that time? How could he have the power to do that? There are certain qualities that make a person do something for someone else. Perhaps it could be compassion on that person, or courage from another person. But Jesus had something more powerful than these things. He didn’t sacrifice himself for one or two people. He did it for everyone there is and is to come. There are three traits that Jesus had to have to do such a thing. Love, mercy, and grace had to come into effect to make the salvation of our souls possible. This will be part one of the series on the three traits to salvation on love, mercy, and grace and how without these qualities, we would not be saved.
First off lets discuss love. What is love? What did this have to do with the Crucifixion? Did Jesus really love us? When I think of love I think of an attraction between people or sometimes things. Its an emotion and often times a passion. But that’s not all love is according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 when Paul writes,” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” If Jesus was the perfect example of love, shouldn’t he be all these things? Absolutely. When you take a look at the life of Jesus you will see that he was all these things. He was patient, kind, not boastful. He was not angered easily or kept records of wrongs because he forgives us. This description fits Jesus perfectly. So that’s the bible’s definition of love. Its not just an emotion, it’s a bunch of little actions that combine to build up a stronger love.
Did Jesus have to have love for us to sacrifice himself? The answer is yes, it would not have happened if he did not love us. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” He tells us straight out that he loved us. He had desires and emotions just like us. After all he was a real human being therefore he must have and show emotion. He had the power to say “No, i’m not going to die for everyone, most of them won’t even follow me.” It was a hard task for him to handle and easy for him to give in. But he was sent down on this earth for a mission. He had a mission and he did his duty. None of us would die for others, especially if we knew most wouldn’t even care. But that’s how much he loved us (Romans 5:8).
In Galatians 2:20 it says “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Paul states that when we are baptized we live for Christ at that point. We live for him by faith because he loved us enough to die for us. In Romans 13:10 Paul writes “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” When we have love while fulfilling the will of God we have done our job completely. Titus 2:10 says “and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” When we show kindness and love when we’re spreading the Word of God, it attracts people, it draws them near. People feel comforted when they feel gentleness and love from others. We need to show people the love that God showed us.
Remember Jesus poured out his love for us, so we need to pour out our love for him and others. Also, without the love that Christ had for us he would never had sacrificed himself for us, and there would be no hope of eternal life for us in the end.