“The Passion of a Father’s Love”
Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while
we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Tonight, our journey of faith has brought to face to face with the “Passion of God’s Love for us.” A passion that is clearly seen and experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus fervently prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:42-44). The anguish and agony that Jesus was to endured in garden was the struggle of his humanity coming face to face with the hideousness of sin and the cruelty of crucifixion and death that is about to come.
But the anguish of Jesus' passion is not without purpose or meaning... for he was to become the "Passover Lamb of God, slain from before the foundation of the World." "For the wage of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life"(Rom. 6:23). Salvation does not come without a price. The righteousness of God demanded the price of sin be paid and it was. Out of His love, God paid the price for you. God demonstrated that love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
While there are many that advocate that Salvation was won on Calvary’s Cross, it is my belief, that salvation was won in this moment of complete surrender of Jesus’ Heart to the Will of God… “Not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42). Failure to believe otherwise, is to deny the very humanity and the agony of the garden that Jesus surrendered too. It is this moment of surrender in Jesus' life that touches my heart the most. For I know, he surrendered his life for me. A love he demonstrated for me. A love I know and understand first hand as a father.
When my daughter was 2 years old, she had to undergo a rather routine surgery, but surgery, nonetheless. As the time for surgery came, she began to reach out to me, afraid and crying out “Daddy, Daddy!” her little hands reaching and grasping for me. She was so afraid. In that moment, I came to understand for the first time in my life the nature of sacrificial love for I would have gladly taken her place, if only I could. Beloved, that is exactly what Jesus did for me and you on Calvary's Cross. “He took our place!” He demonstrated for me his love in that he died for my sin.
You see, it hard for me to get my mind around crucifixion and it cruelty. But, I do understand about a love that is willing to take the place of another for that's exactly what I would have done for my daughter and what Jesus did for me! So tonight, when I come to the Lord's Table and share the Bread and Cup of Communion and recite the words of Jesus when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19) this is what I will remember… that he demonstrated his love for me that while I was yet a sinner, He died for me!” That my friend, is the "Passion of a Father's Love!" God is will to do whatever it takes to bring you to Himself. Won't you come home?