In the Moment
April 18 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 3-5; Luke 14:25-35
In the Moment
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life . . . . No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.
READ LUKE 23:32–46
The ambulance door was about to close—with me on the inside. Outside, my son was on the phone to my wife. From my concussed fog, I called his name. As he recalls the moment, I slowly said, “Tell your mom I love her very much.”
Apparently I thought this might be goodbye, and I wanted those to be my parting words. In the moment, that’s what mattered most to me.
As Jesus endured His darkest moment, He didn’t merely tell us He loved us; He showed it in specific ways. He showed it to the mocking soldiers who had just nailed Him to a cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). He gave hope to a criminal crucified with Him: “Today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43). Nearing the end, He looked at His mother. “Here is your son,” He said to her, and to His close friend John He said, “Here is your mother” (John 19:26-27). Then, as His life slipped from Him, Jesus’s last act of love was to trust His Father: “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Jesus purposefully chose the cross in order to show His obedience to His Father—and the depth of His love for us. To the very end, He showed us His relentless love.
By Tim Gustafson
REFLECT & PRAY
Every word of Jesus was spoken in love.
What matters most to you? How do love and obedience fit together?
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Jesus’s death forever changed those present. One of the two criminals who had been crucified alongside Him said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:39-43). The centurion tasked with executing Him exclaimed, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39). Tim Gustafson
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