Brightly colored ribbons were tied around precious packages for family and friends. Wonderful holiday feasts warmed guests inside only to be matched by the love shown and shared.
Want to see real love? Let’s go straight to the cross.
Jesus had been tried by the Jews, but they knew their accusations against him would have no traction with Pilate, so they made up different ones. After a cursory examination of Jesus, Pilate could find no fault and told the Jews and sent Jesus to Herod. Herod sent him back without charge (Luke 23:15).
Realizing Pilate’s duty was to keep Judea quiet, the Jews’ loud voices overpowered the governor and he allowed Jesus to be crucified. Why did the Jews want this? They wanted people to know a king would never be crucified. Thus, Jesus was not a king. Crucifixion would dismember any rising body of believers, they thought.
But, on the cross, there was forgiveness, not vindictiveness. “Father, forgive them,” he said as he was dying. There was assurance instead of condemnation when the King Eternal told one of the thieves crucified with him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” There was trust and obedience as Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
This Jesus dying on a cross was not a criminal. He was not an insurrectionist. He died so you and I might be freed from sin to serve God (Romans 6:17-18). He took our sins upon himself though he had never committed a sin (1 Peter 2:24). All of this he did because he loved us (John 3:16).
Holidays are great times to enjoy the love of family. But, if we really want to see the greatest love, we need to go straight to the cross and we need to keep coming back. Often.