Worth Dying For

you were worth dying for

You were worth dying for… Love Jesus.  This image came through my Facebook News Feed on Good Friday, and it brought me such joy!  I know what a mess I can be… I know what a sinner I am… and yet, in the midst of all my messes and sins, Jesus values me!  And not only does He value me, He thinks I’m worth dying for.  And Jesus thinks you’re worth dying for too.

I wonder what thoughts swirl through your head after reading “You were worth dying for”? Maybe you don’t FEEL like you are worth dying for.  Maybe you doubt that anyone could love you that much because you’ve never experienced that kind of love before.  Maybe you think that if Jesus REALLY knew you, He would NEVER die for you.  Or maybe, you think others are worth dying for, just not you.

There’s no better place to go than the Bible to see if your thoughts and feelings align with God’s Truth.  Let’s take a peek at Jesus in action as He encounters an adulterous woman.  Watch how Jesus responds to the woman and her accusers.  As you read, think about whether Jesus thought the adulterous woman was worth dying for.

John 8:1-11 (NLT)

A Woman Caught in Adultery

8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Leviticus 20:10 (NLT) states “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.”  And yet Jesus offered this woman grace.  Instead of condemning her, He told her to go and sin no more.  Can you imagine what this woman felt as she walked away from Jesus?  She thought she was going to die… yet she received new life.

Jesus loved the adulterous woman.  He showed her compassion, grace, and mercy.  She sinned.  She was caught red-handed, yet Jesus treated her as valuable.  Jesus would die on the cross for her sin… and even though her sin would nail Him to the cross, He loved her… forgave her… and encouraged her to let this encounter with Him change the path of her life forever.

Jesus loves you like this.  Jesus loves me like this.  But do we even grasp it?  Do we even begin to understand the magnitude of Jesus’ love for us?  Isaiah 53:3-11 shows just how much Jesus loves us.

Isaiah 53:3-11 (NLT)

He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.  He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.  And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.  He was beaten so we could be whole.  He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God’s paths to follow our own.  Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.  And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away.[b] No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.[c] But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.  But he was buried like a criminal;  he was put in a rich man’s grave.

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.  And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.

Do you see how much Jesus loves you?  Read through this passage again and personalize it by plugging in your name for “we,” “our,” “people” and “their.”

Jesus loved you so much that He was beaten, crushed, rejected, pierced, mocked, abandoned… for “that” sin in your life.  The sin that brings you shame… Jesus died for “that” sin.  The hidden sin that you don’t want anyone else to know about… He died for “that” sin too.  Jesus died for ALL sins.  And Jesus invites you to approach the throne of grace with confidence to receive mercy and find grace.  And you know why we can approach the throne of grace with confidence?  Because if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1b-2).  Can you get your mind around this great news?  Jesus not only died for our sins, but He also advocates for us when we sin!  And 1 John 1:9 gives us more confidence:  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Are you willing to approach the throne of grace with confidence today?  Let Jesus’ extravagant love pierce through the walls of your heart.  Let His love remove any masks that you wear.  Unwrap His free gift of grace that is available because of His death.  (Learn more about the free gift of grace here.)  And choose to believe that you… yes, you… were worth dying for.  Oh, how He loves us!

© 2014

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