The Cross: Love & Sacrifice
Most of us have heard the story of Jesus’ horrific death – the mockery, injustice, brutality, tormented, beaten, nailed to a cross. Most of us at least heard of if not watched “The Passion” which attempts to depict this unimaginable point in history. It gives us a glimpse in the absolutely horrendous death that Jesus died just to offer us forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. The last days of Jesus’ life gives us an incredible depiction of what unconditional love and sacrifice look like.
As I reflect on that overwhelming and incomprehensible demonstration of love and sacrifice by Jesus, I begin to see a bigger picture. We have this example to look off of and try to apply in our relationships. Of course I don’t mean literally, but I do mean taking those principles and trying to implement them into our life. As human beings our tendency is to be self-seeking. We forget that love means sacrificing and putting our self aside to demonstrate our love for another. Sometimes it is excruciating, painful, and unbearable, but that’s what commitment is about it marriage especially – love and sacrifice.
Often times I hear married couples say that their spouse doesn’t deserve their unconditional love or sacrifice. How many times though are we loved and sacrificed for when we are far less than deserving? No one is ever truly deserving of unconditional love because we are all human, all let each other down, all fall, all fail, and all hurt those around us even when we are trying our best not to. Showing love to our spouse when they least deserve it is the truest testament to our commitment to them and best demonstrates our love for them. Think about it, how amazing is that gift of love from your spouse when you know you don’t deserve it?! It’s incredible and overwhelming! Anyone can love in the good times; it’s loving in the bad or tough times that takes true courage and commitment and that will carry your marriage through the test of time.
While unconditional love is an ideal that technically can never be achieved due to our humanity, it is a goal to constantly strive toward. Showing love when someone doesn’t deserve it is the greatest gift you can give. It brings me back to the cross, where as the people mocked him as he hung there on the cross for their (and our) sins, he said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” ~Luke 23: 34. What a display of love that we can all learn from and try to display in our marriages and relationships!
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