by Sandy Kirby Quandt
As I contemplated what to write for this post I thought about Jesus Christ and Easter. I thought about how he gave himself to save a sinful world, and how as followers of Jesus, he deserves our best effort in return.
We’ve heard the story. We’ve analyzed the motives. We’ve memorized the words.
We remember that on the day Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was nailed to a cross and died for the sins of all mankind, two thieves hung next to Him. As Jesus paid the penalty for a debt he did not owe, so those who accept him as Lord and Savior could have eternal life with him in heaven, one thief taunted. One thief trembled.
While we may argue we would never be like the thief who taunted Jesus, I wonder. Do our actions line up with our words? Do we give of ourselves to serve him? Do we look for ways to help others, point them to Jesus, be the light to a world in darkness?
Jesus allowed himself to be sacrificed so you and I could understand how deep, how wide, and how strong his love for us is. It’s personal. Christ had each and every one of us in his thoughts and on his heart when he became the Sacrificial Lamb. Our face ran through his mind as he breathed his last breath.
Because Jesus gave his all for us, he deserves our best effort in return, don’t you think?
I could write a list of what it means to give of ourselves, but I believe you may already have a list of your own. Things you do. Things you could do. Things you should do.
I’m not talking about busy-ness or felt obligation here. I’m talking about honest-to-goodness giving our best effort to further God’s kingdom here on earth, out of gratitude for the amazing gift we’ve been given.
I’m talking about looking for those opportunities God places in our path to make a difference. To be his hands and feet. To point others to the Father. To comfort as we’ve been comforted.
We can be like the first thief.
Mock Jesus, make fun of him, and refuse his sacrifice.
Or we can be like the second thief.
We can acknowledge the fact we are sinners who deserve to die for our sins, are in great need of a Savior, and in humble gratitude give of our very best effort to the Master.
However that manifests itself in each of our lives.
I wish you well.