By Andrew Miller
Pastor, Montverde UMC
First, read John 19:25-30
Jesus gave up his life so that I may live...
I never really understood this until I was 18 years old in Costa Rica. I was on my first mission trip where I gave a helping hand to a family seeking to build the fourth wall of their home located in a squatter village. The family consisted of a mother, father, and two girls, one elementary age and the other a high schooler, like me. The high school student served as our interpreter; she knew enough English that bridged the gap with my terrible Spanish. She made communication between her family and me possible.
During one of our last days together we paused from our labor to share a meal. The family invited me into their home for dinner. To some it may have looked like a meager meal; for this family they had prepared a feast. They shared a meal of beans and rice with me, which was all they had. And in that moment I started to truly understand what loving sacrifice looked like.
Christ gave his life for me and it took a family giving me part of what little resources they had to teach me what true love meant.
Today, on this Good Friday, we remember the God who laid down his life for us without ever knowing us in person, the God whose death gave life to the past, the present, and the future that has yet to come.
May we be humbled by this gift that we did not earn. And may we find ourselves in the spirit of giving ourselves, our resources, our time, our hope, our joy, our comfort, and our justice to others.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, teach me how to give. Teach me to take up my cross and follow. Teach me again to become your hands and feet for the sake of your people everywhere. Amen.
Questions for Discussion/Reflection
1. How do you understand "Jesus gave his life so that I may live"?
2. When have you been given a gift that was a sacrifice for the giver?
3. What do you need to give as a sacrifice for others?