Imagine yourself as a Roman soldier. You look up at the man hanging on the Cross. You are covered in his blood because you’re one of the men responsible for beating the prisoner so badly, that he was rendered unrecognizable. You’re out of breath from following him through the streets of Via Dolorosa, whipping him, spitting on him, punching him, and cursing him every step of the way. You watch as the man labors for breath. You notice a woman lying at the foot of the Cross weeping uncontrollably. Somewhere, deep down, you sense what happened was wrong, but you faithfully carried out your duties as the obedient soldier you have always been.
You glance up and make eye contact with the man they call Jesus. You’re stunned when you realize He isn’t staring at you with eyes full of contempt or hatred. They nearly glow with an emotion you wouldn’t think was even possible. Unmistakable love. He looks up to the darkened sky and says “Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do.”
There are thousands of books on the market about how we should live. Books on how to love and forgive others when they’ve wronged us somehow. Guidelines for living a Christian life. Steps, methods, and doctrines permeate the bookshelves. My question is this:
Why is the Bible, and the Christian life Jesus modeled while on Earth, not enough?
What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) became nothing more than another religious cliche found on posters, bracelets, and bumper stickers, but it’s how we should all be living. If Christ didn’t do it or say it, neither should we.
Jesus loved others without having some kind of an agenda in mind.
Jesus forgave people without making them jump through hoops.
Jesus stared into the face of extreme injustice and asked His Father to forgive.
Jesus sat at the table with Judas, knowing the man would soon betray Him for 30 pieces of sliver.
Jesus loved Peter even after His disciple denied Him three times.
How could Jesus possibly live like this? He was love personified. He knew exactly what it meant to live selfless instead of selfish. He was a human man walking the Earth with the living power of Holy Spirit dwelling inside.
And we have that same ability. We can walk this planet with an indwelling of Holy Spirit. We can become love and crush Hell for a living. We have to believe in Christ, and be willing to lay down our lives. Completely. It’s not about us. It doesn’t matter what people have done to us in the past. It doesn’t matter if a church “hurt” us. It doesn’t matter if people don’t want anything to do with us.
None of that changes our ability to love people.
Jesus wasn’t just a character in history that we can read about. He is the example we should follow.