Ever had something you are dreading hanging over your head? Maybe a painful surgery, an unpleasant meeting, or even a really hard test. Whatever it is, whether it be months or weeks away, it seems to be a dark cloud over you. You might not think about it often months out but you might feel the weight in the back of your mind. Then, as it gets closer, it is on your mind more and more. Sometimes you just can't wait for it to come so that it can be over.
Now, think of Jesus. Jesus, who knew all his life the horrible death he would die. I don't know if he knew exactly when, but he knew it was coming. He knew the agony he would face. Talk about a dark cloud hanging over your head. His whole life he had the weight of that on his shoulders. If I can get upset just thinking about a dreaded meeting, I can't even begin to imagine how Jesus must have felt.
I'm not trying to compare any of my trivial difficulties to Jesus' death. I'm simply trying to bring some perspective to my own life. Jesus wasn't superhuman. As we know from reading the accounts in the Garden of Gethsemane, it did not come easy to Jesus. As the hour drew near, Jesus was in intense anguish. He needed his Father, and he needed his apostles. He had to go through it, but that doesn't mean it was simple. It makes me all the more thankful for the sacrifice he made. And thankful to our Father, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in giving His own Son. That is the ultimate display of love.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)