Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
It's hard to know what was going on in the mind of Jesus as he was carrying that cross to his death. I would imagine it was a mix of emotions.
On the one hand, he is a man and programed for self preservation. Did he imagine his friends coming to save him? Did he hope that Pilot would stop the guards and set him free? He had already endured being flogged and crowned with thorns. He knew that he was about to go through the torture of being nailed to a cross and hung for all to see until he suffocated, starved, or bled to death. His last moments on earth would be spent listening to people yell at him, ridicule him, and cheer his suffering. And then, the real pain would start as he took on the full punishment for our sins.
On the other hand, Jesus is God. He is the messiah. He is the savior. He is fulfilling the prophecy that's been passed down for thousands of years. He was about to mend the relationship that we broke. He was about to make a way for us to spend eternity in pure love. And so from that point of view, he must have been excited. He must have been eager to get the job done and usher in a new era where people could speak directly to their creator, where people could find the strength to overcome their sins. He was about to invite the Holy Spirit to fill the hearts of men and women all over the world.
The one thing that binds these two perspectives together is Love.
Jesus, as a man, continued forward to Golgotha, one painful step after another because he loves us. He endured the torture and the torment because he loves us so much that he was willing to take our place and pay our price.
Jesus, as God, could not wait to fulfill his purpose and reunite us with our creator because he loves us. He has loved us since the beginning of time. We, you and me, have been on his mind since before the creation of the universe and despite what you did yesterday, despite what you did today, and despite all the sins that you will commit between now and the time you leave this Earth, he has loved you. His love is unwavering. His love is not based on whether you are a good person or not. His love knows no bounds. His love is infinite, pure, and is given to you without stipulation. He loves you because he made you.
Resurrection is around the corner.
The day of victory is near.
Let go of the chains that are holding you back. Let go of the fears that are holding you down. Let go of the lies that convince you that God does not love you, or that you need to earn his love.
You have been seeking a way. You have been seeking an answer. You have been seeking substance. You have been seeking purpose.
Join us this Sunday and find the way. Invite a friend this Sunday and receive the answer. Be a part of something that will fill you up, give you direction, and make your life about something bigger than you. It's Easter! It's Resurrection Day. Jesus is alive and wants to have a relationship with you!
We hope you will celebrate with us. We want you there. Come check us out.