It is Easter week, and today is Good Friday. The most hopeless day in history. Jesus hung on a cross for the sins of the world. The sky turned dark in the middle of the day and all of Jesus’ followers felt confused and probably a little ticked off. This was the guy who went around healing people. He hung out with sinners and made them believe He was going to redeem their lives. He understood them and saw through them, to their soul. No one else had ever taken time to do that! They thought they were lost forever but Jesus had given them hope. Until that Friday. So much for this “kingdom” they were going to be a part of. He had to go and die.
Yes He did! I am sure all of those confused sinners were the most jubilant and happy on the day Jesus rose from the dead. They had really appreciated Jesus accepting them, more than the ones who had been “good” all their lives. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain. They knew what the sin-dark side was like. They had cried lonely tears. They saw the way people looked at them and judged them. Or how people could never get over the one thing they did years ago. Even worse, they hated themselves and who they had become. They couldn’t forgive themselves for that one thing they had done years ago, but Jesus had. The way He looked at them so lovingly, not a hint of judgment in His brown eyes. He looked at them like their parents had a long time ago. Like their spouse had looked at them. Or maybe no one had ever looked at them with love. They had been kicked around for so long that a kind look scared them. Jesus came for that person.
When I think about how Jesus was with EVERY person He came in contact with, it convicts me for the way I act. I certainly don’t hold back judgment or look at people with love. I need to work on being more Jesus’ hands and feet and less Satan’s backside. I need to be the one, maybe the first one, to treat them how God sees them. That woman who just got out of jail? She caused a fatal accident and needs a second chance. I can show her acceptance and pray for her. That man who lost his job again? He needs encouragement and hope. God can give that, and it may be through me. That little girl whose parents don’t seem to know she is alive? She needs someone to tell her about how much Jesus loves her. I can do that. I can do much more than I currently do. We all can. People are hurting all around us, and all they see is brokenness and despair. If we will take time for them, we can show them love they have never known. The love only Jesus can empower us to give.
Today. Let’s give hope and show mercy today.