[Meditation for Lent] The Lord Suffered Out of Love

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By Abby Peng April 11th, 2017

Lent is an extremely important holiday for Christians. During this time, we meditate on Jesus' cross and our faith can be more deeply rooted and strengthened at this time of the year.

At the mention of the life of Jesus Christ, the word "sufferings" cannot be avoided. Jesus lived a life of sufferings and atonement, showing a road of suffering rather than a glorious and gorgeous road. But why should the followers of Jesus have to experience sufferings? What is the significance of this? Even unbelievers encounter hardships and trials; but, how is Christian sufferings different from the worldly ones?

Apart from "sufferings", we get another word, "love" and it is seen through Christ's whole life. We believe that the climax of God's love is revealed though the cross of Jesus Christ.

What is the reason for suffering?

When we have a deep understanding of suffering, we will know love in order for us to know real life. Behind suffering, there is the glory of resurrection.

Since love is connected with joy, we need more love when our life turns dry and dull. The Lenten season begins with the meditation on the sufferings of the Lord. The root reason for suffering is love. The weak always wants to escape suffering for it is uneasy to walk on the road of the cross. The longer you are a Christian, the more setbacks you go through. However, we need to believe that our eyes will be opened after sufferings and we will see a world of love and joy. How did a blind man from birth see once again? (Seen in John 9) Jesus placed some mud with saliva on his eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. Through this, his eyes were opened.

Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection occurred in the last three days of his earthy life and there is much to be meditated. Chapter 13 of the book of John set the tone of his crucifixion. The Lent has a gloomy and sad atmosphere. First of all, Jesus knew what kind of way he would be going and was firm to face his coming death. Knowing the road ahead brings power. As a Christian, do you know the way you're taking? It will make a difference between knowing and not knowing.

John 13:3 says, "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power." What did he mean by "all things"? He meant the power of love. The Lord came to the world to give a present of the full extent of love to us. He wanted to offer us complete love which cannot be attained by our efforts alone. We know love only when the Lord reveals it to us. He showed us that this love free of charge because He loved us first.

What is his love for us?

Look at how Jesus loved his disciples. In the Last Supper, he washed his disciples' feet. It means that we should accept his love and service. Salvation enters one's life through accepting the Lord's love.

Jesus claimed that the whole body of a person, who has had a bath, is clean. "Bath" symbolizes rebirth. We're totally different before and after a bath. We were dirty and unclean before taking a bath; but, we become clean and have new life after it. Every individual needs to come to Jesus and accept his love and salvation. His life demonstrated the love of sacrifice towards us.

How does the unconditional love flow into your heart?

By accepting his love, our hearts melt when we accept it.  We have been reborn after the bath; but, it doesn't mean that we never sin. We still commit habitual sins like getting our hands and feet dirty, so the remaining part needs to clean them.

People who belong to the Lord should purify themselves in the Lord again and be refreshed with His love, which is sanctification. The Lord's blood is able to clean all our sins and forgive our sins, past, present, and future. So we should always remain in the Lord to help us wash our feet.

Translated by Karen Luo

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