Everyone was yelling at him. Everyone was mocking him. You stood there watching, not sure what to do. Then, without even realizing it, you started to yell too.
Anger burst from your lips as you joined in with the crowd.
“Kill him! Kill him!” you sneered, holding your fist in the air. You continued yelling as you followed the crowd up the hill. His body was covered in blood. His face was barely recognizable.
Without a thought of sadness, you watched the soldiers pound large nails into his hands.
“Hey you!” one of the soldiers yelled, looking straight at you. “Come here!”
Without hesitating, you quickly ran over to him. “Your turn.” he said smiling, handing you a large hammer. He gestured toward the bloody man’s hands.
“Go ahead, give it a whack!” he said snarling.
You hesitated. This was a little more involved than you wanted to be.
“Come on!” he yelled. “What are you waiting for you?”
Raising the hammer in the air, you glanced up at the bloody man’s face. He was looking at you with sorrowful eyes. You froze. His face was filled with compassion and love. Then, His lips started to move.
“I…forgive you…” he said softly. “I…forgive you…”
You immediately dropped the hammer and stumbled back when you heard those words. How could a dying man on a cross forgive the one who was murdering him?
Whether we realize it or not, this scene depicts reality more than we’d like to admit.
Jesus died on the cross for sinners, and that includes you and me. Our sins nailed Him to the cross. Our sins were the reason He had to die. The Romans didn’t crucify Him, we all did.
By dying on the cross, Jesus took the punishment that you and I deserved. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). He satisfied the Good Judge’s wrath by receiving the punishment for sin. We deserved to be hanging on that cross, not Jesus. What an amazing Savior we have. He loved us so much that He was willing to die a horrible death for us.
He loved us so much that He was willing to die for the ones who hated him.
The love that Jesus displayed on the cross is the most powerful example of true love out there. Love was put into action. Our hearts should be overflowing with gratitude and worship for Him. We should be continually humbled by the fact that He died for us.
As a result of this love, we should be driven to want to please God. We should desire to obey God in every area of our lives. Our heart’s cry should be, “God, I will follow and obey you no matter the cost! I will do whatever it takes to honor you with my life. I will listen to your commandments and obey your Word!”
Is this your heart’s cry?
I’ll be the first to confess that my heart isn’t always that godly. But my goal is to never stop striving towards becoming that way.
One of the reasons Bethany and I launched Girl Defined is to encourage girls just like you in your walk with Jesus. We want to encourage you, our fellow sister in Christ, to keep fighting the good fight.
We want to encourage you to become more like Jesus everyday.
In fact, the Bible actually commands us to do this very thing: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1).
The word imitator actually means, “to follow or endeavor to follow as a model or example.” We are called to be imitators, or models of Christ. Wow!
When you became a Christian, you also became a model, whether you realized it or not.
As a Christian girl, your life should model the character and love of Jesus to everyone who sees you.
Your life should be a reflection of Christ and what He commands you to do in the Bible.
As a model you need to carefully examine every area of your life and make sure you’re accurately reflecting Christ. How well are you modeling godly character in the following areas:
PURITY: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor” (1 Thess. 4:3-4).
HOLINESS: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16).
LOVE: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).
HUMILITY: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).
Those are just a few of the many areas we should be modeling our lives after Christ.
How did you measure up against those verses? Are you actively striving to become more like Christ?
Our response to God’s undeserving love should be obedience. Jesus gave His life for us…shouldn’t we give everything back in return?
As the well known lyrics remind us, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.”
Since today is Good Friday, I pray you’ll take time to remember the amazing love Christ showed you on the cross.
Remember the agony and pain He went through so you could have eternal life. But don’t stop there. Respond to His amazing love by loving Him back.
Examine your life and heart and ask God to help you become more like Jesus. Confess your sins to Him and He will forgive you (1 John 1:9). Pray and ask God to help you model Christ in every area of your life.
Let’s talk and share…
- In what ways are you thankful to Jesus for dying on the cross for you?
- How can you show gratitude to God today for His amazing love?
- Do you take your role as a “model” seriously? How do you model Christ to those around you?
In the comment section below, share one thing with me that you’re grateful for about Jesus!
Photo credit: Flicker.com | Kristaps Bergfelds