What are your thoughts as we go into Holy Week next week? Do you reflect on what Jesus may have been thinking as He rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? When I was a child my mother had me read the story of the crucifixion. I read it the way I read my stories and wept when I realized there was no way Jesus' life would be spared. Now as an adult and a Christian, I know that Jesus came to earth to die for my sins. As a child I couldn't understand this. Do you?
Most of all, do you realize why Jesus died? It wasn't because the religious leaders hated him or because Herod and Pilate couldn't agree on what to do with Him. If Jesus wanted to get out from dying, no amount of hate or political bungling could have made Him die. He died because He loves you and he loves me. Plain and simple.
It's easy to say, "Yes, I know Jesus loves me." But the concept of someone loving us to the extent that He would die for us can be difficult to grasp. Here's what the Bible says:
For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that all who believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3: 16.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15: 13
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5: 8
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3: 23
The amazing thing about Jesus' love is that it is unconditional. You don't have to be good or holy or even a Christian for Jesus to love you. He can't help but love you, because He is love. So when you reflect on Palm Sunday and holy week, realize that Jesus had you in mind when He did all that He did. And He still does. That's why He stretched out his arms wide on the cross so you could run into them and be saved. And they are still outstretched. Won't you run into them today? He's waiting, but He won't wait forever.
The Bible says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4 : 7).