The enormity of what Jesus did for me is something I especially ponder on Good Friday. As a child I used to wonder what is so "good" about it? I LOVE to celebrate His resurrection, yet, if He had not been "obedient even onto the cross" there would be nothing to celebrate. And, He did this as FULLY MAN. I think a lot of religions figure "well, he is God, after all, so of course He made the right choice". You have to add into the equation the same temptations and feelings that you and I have. And the question remains, would I climb up on that cross for a bunch of selfish people too caught up in their own lives to recognize a sacrifice when they see one?
At least, I don't think I would. But, His love has no limits. And, I wonder what he asks me to lay down on a daily basis. I know that whatever it is usually I'm not nearly as focused and determined about it as He was when He was being led to the cross. I tend to do things I dread with a pasted smile on my face so the world can think I'm serving cheerfully and joyfully. But, God sees my heart. He isn't interested in my performance as much as my motives and attitude. We are called to love the unlovable and serve without reward or a pat on the back. I sense His pleasure when I give myself without expecting a single thing in return. He loves when we are genuine.
Speaking on being genuine, Jesus didn't skip to the cross smiling and shaking hands with people, pretending nothing was wrong. Why do we? But, it was for the JOY set before Him that He endured. Oh, God, please give me that kind of heart change. Not only to practice this genuineness in my own life, but to be more sensitive to others when they are going through trials. Having the joy of the Lord during the rough times doesn't mean we have to paste on the fake smiles and pretend to believe in something we just can't get a handle on. But, it does mean I can encourage others to press on in the storm, that the Holy Spirit is their comfort and they can trust that God has a purpose in their suffering. The cross is the perfect example.