How Love Wins [Easter Sunday]
We talk about people making the ultimate sacrifice, from stories of soldiers jumping on grenades to save their brothers to children rushing into burning buildings to save trapped family members. But the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate act of love, was when Jesus came to earth and died for us. He jumped on the grenade of sin. He rescued us from the fire. Jesus paid the ultimate price by dying for us on the Cross, and He did so in order that we can live forever with Him in eternity. Jesus gave His life because He loves you and me.
Over and over in the New Testament we see Jesus demonstrating His love for individual people in need. He would offer compassion, hope, grace, mercy, love, peace, and one-by-one people were won over by His love. For over 2,000 years people like us have been deeply moved, mended, and motivated by His love.
Here are 3 ways HIS love wins this Easter:
1: Jesus offers FORGIVENESS for our past mistakes.
Key verse: John 8:1-4 “but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.’“
- Thrown at Jesus’s feet, the woman’s accusers condemned her to die. They called her unclean and became her judge and jury. According to the religious law of the day, she was to be stoned to death.
- Unjust? Not according to the law of the Jews.
- Unfair? Yes, where was the man?
- Unloving? That’s where Jesus steps in. That’s where He always steps in.
- Jesus immediately saw her as forgiven unlike everyone else who immediately saw her as condemned. In the Kingdom of God, forgiveness trumps condemnation every time. Love beats judgment and guilt. That is how love wins.
2: Jesus offers ASSURANCE for our present fears.
Key verse: John 8:5-8 “In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.”
- Can you imagine the fear this woman was experiencing? Crippling fear to be sure. She was surrounded by a bunch of mean men who wanted her to die.
- But notice that Jesus intervenes just like he has done for you and me! He stepped into her predicament just as He steps into ours. He became her advocate just as he is ours.
- Like this woman we have sinned. That is why Jesus went to the Cross:
- To protect us from judgment.
- To provide for us (hope for a fresh start and new beginning).
- To promise us everlasting life in Heaven with Him one day.
- We are compelled to love Him because of what He has done for us. He has rescued us from our failures and sins and offers us forgiveness, hope, and heaven.
3: Jesus offers HOPE for our future (in this life and the next).
Key verse: John 8:9-11 “At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
- Can you imagine how this woman must have felt? In these few words, Jesus set her on a whole new trajectory!
- No longer condemned, but forgiven.
- No longer dead, but alive.
- No longer hopeless, but purposeful.
- No longer needing to find love in all the wrong places, but having found true love from God himself.
- If we believe in Jesus, that He has made Heaven possible for us through His death and resurrection, then it will change the trajectory of our lives as it did this woman. Love won in this woman’s life – and it will win in ours, as well.
- Not only did Jesus save her life once, but He saved it twice. He saved her from being stoned to death and then later on when He died on the Cross for her. He saved her twice! That’s how love wins.
Jesus looked into her eyes with love, acceptance, and forgiveness. He lifted her up and said “Where are your accusers? Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” He saved her life! I see a bit of us in her in that we all have fallen short and need God’s forgiveness. We all have challenges and need His strength. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in our past. What matters is that we give God our past and accept His forgiveness.