For No Reason!?
I grew up in Ottawa, the youngest of 4 children, in a home where my parents loved the Lord and tried their best to obey God’s Word. I learned at a very young age that I was a sinner, and in need of God’s salvation for Heaven. I had heard many times that Jesus died for me, and He was the only way for me to go to Heaven. I felt, though, that I was a good girl, and probably not THAT bad of a sinner - that I’d end up in Heaven after all, somehow.
We went to Children’s Bible Hour in a school gymnasium every winter as far back as I can remember. We would be there every week, bringing friends, memorizing verses and hearing stories from the Bible of God’s love for us. At the end of the session, usually in March, there was always a treat of pizza or cupcakes and prizes for points earned all winter. We had a special speaker on ‘treat’ night, and usually it was an artist, who brought one of his own paintings to help illustrate the story. He would keep it covered at first, and ‘reveal’ during the story. I was very interested in art, and looked forward to this with much anticipation.
This one year, when I was 11 years old, the speaker arrived on Treat night without his usual large covered canvas. I was disappointed. This time he read about the Lord Jesus and the undeserved hatred that was shown so cruelly toward him. He pulled something out of a bag he had hidden. It was a replica of a scourge. A whip made for cruel torture with bone and rocks to inflict terrible pain and suffering. He told of the sufferings that Jesus endured at the hands of angry enemies. He also had made a crown of thorns that he showed the group, amid gasps of horror. We read in Psalm 69:4
Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;
They are mighty who would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully;
Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.
What was impressed upon me through this verse, was the fact that there was NO reason for this hatred and unimaginable cruelty. The Lord Jesus was God the Son, and when he walked on Earth there was
never even one sin, never a bad thought, never was He unkind to a single soul.
But also in this verse we read that He HAD to go through this suffering. ‘I still must restore it’. This was the ONLY way that we could be saved. The other side of this undeserved hatred was undeserved love, for ME. There was NO reason for Jesus to look at me and bring me to Heaven, because I was definitely a sinner! But He DID love me. I realized for myself that so many times I’d heard that Jesus loved me SO much that He gave Himself for me, and I’d rejected that! I was no better than the people around the cross who shouted and demanded his fierce and cruel death. He loved ME without a cause, and went through it all - pain, rejection, punishment from God for sin that was not His.
Wow. What a contrast at the cross:
Hatred ‘without a cause’ toward the sinless, pure and holy Lamb of God, who came to offer His own self as a sacrifice that would forgive my sin forever.
Love ‘without a cause’ - My Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ loved ME enough to give Himself for me. I took it personally. It was for me! My burden of sin was lifted that day, March 9, 1988. I trusted God to take me to Heaven all because of what was done at the cross when Jesus loved me without a cause, and died for me. I’m so thankful that He rose again and LIVES in the Power that gives Everlasting Life! I trust Him today, and I am kept in His mighty right hand:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.