It's weird when different parts of your start to line up, making it obvious that God is in control and wants you to learn something.
Recently, it's been the story of Jesus' crucifixion that keeps popping up. My pastor is preaching on that section of John in church; Nate and my Bible reading at home is in that section of Matthew right now. It doesn't seem like that would line up unless God wanted it to.
I've read the story and heard it hundreds of times before, growing up in church. However, lately I have heard a lot more details about it. For instance the cat-o-nine tails that was full of shards of glass and hooks that would pull off the skin and sometimes even the ribs of the people being whipped with it.
I have to be honest, I got queasy this Sunday when the pastor talked about what suffering Jesus went through. In fact right now I realize I unconsciously had a look of detest and disgust on my face as I even think back on it.
When it came time to read the chapter about Jesus' crucifixion again in Matthew last night, I wanted to skip it. It's horrible, and I don't want to keep reliving that part of Jesus' life. Can't I just focus on the good and the happy?
But no, it's important that we meditate on this part of Scripture. The greatest gift we receive, salvation, only came through the most heinous crime in history committed against a completely innocent man. If we don't know what Jesus went through, how can we be appreciative.
It reminds me a little bit of police officers. This might be a stretch, but stick with me. We don't often hear all that police officers go through. We know they pull people over for speeding and arrest drunks. However, we don't hear about the fights that are everyday occurrences, the scrapes and bruises, being at gun point while trying to protect those asleep in the next house.
When people hear stories about some dangerous situation a police officer encounters, they often express gratitude and appreciation. If they really knew all that a law enforcement officer was going through day in and day out, they probably would express it more often.
When we think about all Jesus went through, it gives us a reminder to express appreciation. Thank you Jesus for dying for us, and thank you for rising again to conquer death. Help us to remember each day what you did, and why you did it.