“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)
We embody the heart of God when we give to those who cannot give anything in return. Christ calls the people in this category of worldly poverty “the least of these.” Yet, this demographic of people are the ones with whom the Incarnate God identifies Himself. Jesus didn’t come down to earth to offer us money, fame, power, or a cushy and sheltered walk of bliss–He came down to give us eternal life and a cross to carry. Christ was humble, and in His worldly poverty, we see the reflection of the people we call the “least of these.” Those who the people of the world scorn are the ones who God is calling us to love.
At the same time, Jesus, the Son of God, was the One who came down from heaven to save us while we offered Him nothing but suffering in return. We all are the “least of these” because of our sin, yet God still reaches out His hand to help us. Reaching out can look like many things, but what we see in Jesus are active acts of compassion that lift others' needs above Himself–even His enemies. Sometimes, all we can give to someone is an encouraging word, but an encouraging word can change a life with God.
This weekend is Easter weekend, where we remember the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. The beauty of the Gospel is that Jesus died for every person, making every life infinitely precious. In the offer of the cross, God wants to trade our rags of shame for His robes of glory.
But God calls us to believe in His Son and what He did at Calvary–that He bore the wrath we deserve and took the condemnation of death to the grave. By repenting to God and believing in His name, we accept the gift Jesus has freely given us through His shed blood, and we exchange our destiny for Christ’s.
Though we celebrate Easter once a year and take this time to remember what Jesus did, the picture of the cross should be ever before our eyes. If God has given His life for you and me, should His sacrifice not be something we look to in remembrance of His love at all times?
God the Son chose the grave so that we could receive His grace. Jesus personally took our sin to the tomb and sealed it away forever–His body lying in darkness; the Light of the world slain.
But Jesus did not stay dead, and the stone was rolled away.
On the third day, Christ rose again and overcame sin and death. Because Jesus is alive, the promise of life is available to all who believe. That depression is not your destiny; that anxiety is not your portion; that abuse doesn’t define you; that wrongful act doesn’t make you too far gone; that addiction is not unbreakable; your sin is not irredeemable–there is a God who can take our broken pieces and make something beautiful. Christ’s hand has reached through space, time, heaven, and hell to offer you a hand up. Will you take it?
That is the Good News of the Christian faith, the Gospel: Christ has overcome the world, and in Him there is life, and life abundantly. I pray that this Easter and every day to come will be days that we live in the victory of Christ Jesus the Lord, eagerly awaiting His return.
Maranatha; come, Lord Jesus.
“Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19.