I have a clear memory, when about 3 years old, and my brother’s birthday was coming up, and my Dear Mother suggested that I give my ‘dear brother’ (14 months my senior) my ‘best toy.’ Um…I thought…my best toy, suddenly became my ‘worst toy,’ and by worst toy… suddenly became my ‘best toy.’ Happy birthday brother. Dear Mother explained to me that in giving him my best toy… it would be sending him a message of how much I loved him, and would make me feel good…too. What? You got’ta be kidd’in.
That ‘act of generosity’ haunted me for 60 years. Sorry brother. But… I must say, I made it up to him a 1000-fold, over the years… when I became more aware of what sacrifice and generosity really meant….not to mention…brotherly love. But, for this 3-year-old… it didn’t mean squat.
We are told in John 15:13… “Greater love hath no man than this… that a man lay down his life for his friends.” This reminds me of my young Marine friend, (a peer. and dear friend… of my grandson’s) whose job it was… to ‘collect BODY PARTS’ in Iraq, and match them with other such parts… in hopes of being able to identify the young men who died for our freedom… in a land thousands of miles away from their homes. Young Josh had a very difficult time dealing with that job, as anyone would. It wasn’t that he was just 25 years old, weighing in at 145 pounds, and stood, while very erect…only 5’6.” The real problem is that ‘no one’ should ever have to do such a job. Josh did it, and did it well. But Josh… after ‘being home’ just 6 months…became a “wounded worrier.” I still, along with his grandparents who raised him, and my Grandson… mourn him. He gave the ultimate, so that we would not.
The ULTIMATE SACRIFICE of GENEROSITY… Jesus came to earth….just why did He? We are told in John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
When Christ came into the world… it is said in Hebrews 10:5-7 – “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings You were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about Me in the scroll—I have come to do Your will, O God.’”
This is why Jesus came to earth. God’s Son surrendered His sinless human self to be the future unblemished offering to perfectly and completely save we sinners. The Son of God came to Earth… Not to teach Love and Peace and care for the poor, the old and maim; but to submit Himself to something unspeakably violent and brutal. Jesus was born to die. And on this issue… Jesus, Himself… speaks very clearly. Here are a few verses worthy of contemplation:
- John 3:17 – “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
- Luke 19:10 – “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
- Luke 5:32 – “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
- John 10:17-18 – “I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.”
- Matthew 20:28 – “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
To summarize my point… I simply say this. Jesus died on the cross, so that we might live; so that we might have eternal life, in heaven… with Him. Now… Talk about LOVE, talk about GENEROSITY. Talk about SACRIFICE. We’re not able to comprehend any of it. But, through the GRACE of GOD, we can ENJOY the full EFFECT of His Love, Generosity, and HIS Sacrifice.
Thank you Dear Jesus, for dying on the Cross for me.
…Blessings…cjlb – 4/22/2017
Picture: My brother, Walter, holding ‘my best toy.’