My husband asked me recently if there’s anything I’ve learned since being pregnant for the first time. Thinking of my chronic morning sickness and food aversions, I said, “Yeah, I’ve learned that being a parent starts from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. I’m already sacrificing for this child, and he’s not even breathing yet!”
Later on, I was driving by myself, thinking, and praying. I was pondering the question my husband asked and considering my answer again. I realized something: Jesus sacrificed so much more for me—before I was even born—so that I could truly live.
You see, He came to earth and lived a perfect life, never sinning once. Jesus was able to do so because He was both God and man. But, the only faultless person to ever walk the Earth was killed, dying a gruesome death. From a justice standpoint, this should have never happened to someone who had never done a single thing wrong. But without Jesus Christ’s death, we would never be able to live in relationship with God on Earth or in heaven (because, unlike Jesus, we do sin), and God did not want that. So, in God’s mysterious plan, Jesus’ death and resurrection was the only way for the rest of mankind to receive mercy and eternal life. Therefore making the cross the climax of human history—the one place where justice and mercy fit perfectly together.
He did all of this for me—for you—before we ever took a breath.
Unlike me, an expectant mother, He knew what was coming. No matter how many mothers shared their wisdom and experience with me, I had no way of understanding the road that would lay ahead. It’s certainly been much harder than I expected already, and I have no idea what challenges are to come. Had I truly understood some of the difficulties I’d face, I may have selfishly waited. (Though I’m certain God planned it this way, understanding we humans can only handle one day at a time.) He, on the other hand, went willingly—with full knowledge of what to expect. In fact, the Bible says that this was His plan even before He created the world.
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:4-9, NLT).
In God’s mysterious plan, Jesus’ death and resurrection was the only way for the rest of mankind to receive mercy and eternal life.
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16, ESV).
What a kind Heavenly Father we have, who knows us and loved us before we were born. Crucifixion is widely considered the most painful death imaginable, yet the Bible says that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). What was the joy that He set His mind upon? The salvation of our souls and a personal relationship with us. The sacrifice I find myself facing today pales in comparison. The one made for me even before my first breath—now that’s a real sacrifice.
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