I thought I knew what love was. I thought love was 1 Corinthians 13. I thought love was being joyful and happy and willing and giving away your time. I thought love was being blind to a person's faults, loving them through their short comings, encouraging, compromising. I thought love was You, and what You've done for us, but I didn't really know what You did for us. I didn't really know what love was. I didn't realize the weight of what You did, or the how much it hurt and how scared You might have actually been.
Then I read the story. The same story I've read a million times. The same story that's been preached every Easter for my 21 years, but this time it was different. This time I stopped at the part where You begged your Father. Please Father, is there any other way? Please Father, your will not mine, but if there's any other way... and a third time. Please, father. If you can do this differently, please. And then they took him away. After He begged, not once or twice, but three times- he begged. He pleaded with His Daddy. Daddy, please. Daddy, please. Okay Daddy, if I have to, but please Daddy, please.
Then there's the part where He went. He said, Daddy, your plans, not mine; you know best, Daddy. They took him away. They hurt Him and took Him. Then the crowds, the people He'd healed and loved and saved, they spit on Him. Spit on Him. The beat Him. Beat Him. Then, if that wasn't enough, they hit Him. They hit Him, and then they mocked Him. The mocked the Son of Man. The creator. The SAVIOR. They said, Messiah, prophesy who hit You. Like He was an idiot. Like He couldn't call on his father and a host of angels to destroy them. He took it. With the grace of a King and the love of the Father- He took their beatings and their mockery.
That's where I stopped. I know the crucifixion. The pain. The hurt. The out cries. In the midst of his torture He asked for their forgiveness. He asked for our forgiveness. If this isn't the picture of love, then there's no such thing. If this isn't what love is, if you don't feel loved, there's no hope for you.