Denomination: Baptist (All)
|Synopsis: A devotion on the necessity of the curcifixion|
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A great deal of attention has been paid to motiviation in our society. If a crime is committed, one of the first things the police will attempt to determine is the motive of the criminal. What is it that motivates this person to commit the crime in question? We also look for motives for the actions of those people we come in contact with in our daily lives. If a person that has never paid us any attention is suddenly falling all over themselves to do things for us, we might as ourselves, "What is their motive for doing these things?"
Many different factors can often combine to provide a motive for someone to perform a particular deed. These can include; greed, selfishness, self-protection, fear, and love, just to name a few. Of all the factors that have been found to impact a person's motives, love is by far the most powerful.
Much has been made of what was accomplished at Calvary. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Christ made atonement for all the sins of all mankind once and for all. What was accomplished at Calvary is indeed beautiful. But, how much more beautiful it is once we observe not just what was done, but why. Without a proper understanding of Christ's motive as a frame of reference, it is not possible to fully comprehend the magnitude of what occured during the first Easter season, almost 2000 years ago.
The Bible clearly states in Luke 19:10 the purpose of Christ's ministry on earth. he came to seek and save that which was lost. Specifically, Christ came to restore the relationship between God and man that had been broken by sin in the Garden of Eden so many years before. In order for this to occur, it was necessary for Him to give His life to meet the requirements stated in Romans 6:23 - the wages of sin is death. Because we had sinned someone had to die in order to satisfy the requirements of God's law.
However, this is the goal Christ intended to accomplish. By itself, an understanding of what was done is insufficient to get a picture of what Calvary truly means. For you see, without understanding why Christ was willing to undertake this task we could erroneously arrive at the conclusion that it was merely an obligation being fulfilled. However, Romans 5:8 clearly states that God commended his love to us in such a tremendous way that, while we were still sinners, Christ was willing to die in our place so that our relationship with God might be restored. It was sin that sent Him to the cross, but it was love that held Him there.
In John 15:13, Jesus taught His disciples that no greater love exists than for a person to lay down their life for another person. I am certain the disciples all nodded their heads and acknowledged their factual understanding of that statement. perhaps they even thought of family members or friends and wondered whether they would be able to lay down their life for them. However, Christ did not leave them to wonder whether there was anyone willing to do this for them. Shortly after making this statement He went out and showed them His love by actually laying down His life in their place. This one display of love was beyond anything these men had ever before encountered. They may not have fully comprehended what was happennig at the time, but as their understanding grew, so did the impact this event had on their lives and their ministries.
However, Christ's sacrifice was not limited to the inner circle of the disciples. His love extends to each of us as well. The fact that God loved me enough to be willing to die for me is in reality more than I can comprehend. He was not obligated, or compelled from some sense of duty. His actions were motivated completely out of love, not just for mankind as a whole, but for each of us as individuals.
The most beautiful part of why Christ died at Calvary was that He died there for me. It is sad to think it was necessary, but comforting beyond words to know He was willing to do whatever was required, up to and including dying, in order to have a relationship with me. His love for me is not merely a bunch of words in a book, but a reality expressed in the most visible and memorable fasion possible. Never was any statement more true than the words of the familiar song - "When He was on the cross that day, I was on His mind."
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