But It Wouldn't Be Love

"And as the hands of Jesus opened for the nail,
the doors of heaven opened for you."
Max Lucado
(He Chose the Nails)

READ Mark 15

SITUATION Judas betrayed Jesus, and the religious authorities arrested God's Son. The disciples scattered, and Peter denied him three times. Jesus beaten and mocked throughout the night, provided salvation through his death and resurrection.

OBSERVATION The hours before Jesus' crucifixion were extremely painful for him, yet he faced the sacrifice with love, courage, and conviction so great hat he willingly gave up his life for us!

INSPIRATION He looked around the hill and foresaw a scene. Three figures hung on three crosses. Arms spread. Heads fallen forward. They moaned with the wind.

Men clad in soldiers' garb sat on the ground near the trio. They played games in the dirt and laughed.

Men clad in religion stood off to one side. They smiled. Arrogant, cocky. They had protected God, they thought, by killing this false one.

Women clad in sorrow huddled at the foot of the hill. Speechless. Faces tear streaked. Eyes downward. One put her arm around another and tried to lead her away. She wouldn't leave. "I will stay," she said softly. "I will stay."

All heaven stood to fight. All nature rose to rescue. All eternity poised to protect. But the Creator gave no command.

"It must be done...," he said, and withdrew.

But as he stepped back in time, he heard the cry that he would someday scream: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He wrenched at tomorrow's agony.

The angle spoke again, "It would be less painful..."

The Creator interrupted softly, "But it wouldn't be love." (From In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado)

APPLICATION What have you given up for others recently? Remember how great Christ's generosity was to you as you think of these "sacrifices."

EXPLORATION Christ's Sacrifice --John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 12:1-3.

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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