As we approach the end of this Lenten season, it’s a good time to reflect on the legacy Christ left us. Before He sacrificed His life on the altar of the cross to purchase our salvation, He walked, talked, and lived among us. Before He died for us, He lived for us–and showed us how to live. For me, three attributes exemplified in the way He lived stand out the most.
First, His unsurpassable love for the human race. So often in the gospels, He refers to Himself as the Son of Man. He was one of us, completely human, in all ways but sin. He understood us as no one else could. He created us and then became one of the created. His love was perfect, complete, and unconditional. No one loved us, loves us still, as He does.
Then there was His mercy. No matter the severity of the sin or the recidivism of the sinner, He forgave, even to the point of asking His Father in heaven to forgive the Jews who cried out for His Crucifixion and the Romans who nailed Him to a cross. He commands us to do likewise, and often, “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'” (Matthew 18:22 NIV). His mercy to those who seek it and accept it is boundless.
Finally, His unparalleled service. He traveled constantly. “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'” (Luke 9:58 NIV).He often went without sleep or food to preach to His growing band of followers, constantly healing the blind, the lame, and the diseased. He got down on His knees and washed the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper, a task delegated to the lowliest of servants, saying, “…I am among you as the one who serves.” (Luke 22:27 NAB).
So this Easter, as we look to celebrate His joyous victory over death–His and ours–let us remember the legacy of His life. Love. Mercy. Service. The New Covenant given to us…to embrace and to follow.