He Suffered for Me written on shadow of a cross

 

It’s the week of Easter. The time to celebrate Jesus’ gruesome death on the cross for us, and His resurrection back to life.

It’s a time to slow down and reflect. A time to remember the very core of our Christian faith. The very event without which all of Christianity would be a waste of time.

Yet sometimes I find myself so caught up with the busyness of life that I struggle to reconnect with the significance of Easter. I’ve heard this story time and time again since childhood. It is incredibly easy to skim by it and hurry on to some more recent excitement.

Jesus died for me – great! I know that, now what?

Not so fast.

Last November, I was reminded just how much Jesus endured for my sake, while watching the TV show Survivor. I couldn’t help but see the comparison. While what the contestants endured doesn’t come close to the pain Jesus felt, it gave me a visual that renewed my awe of Jesus’ sacrifice for me.

Survivor: Season 37, Episode 10

It was a hot sunny day. The contestants prepared for a competition to win immunity, that is, a guarantee that they would not be voted off the show that evening.

The competition was explained. Each contestant would stand on a tiny perch attached to a pole, and hold handles above their shoulders – to me this resembled the shape of the cross. Anyone who let go was eliminated from the competition.

However, before the competition began, the host tempted the contestants to opt out of the competition in exchange for food – incredibly tempting to those who’ve been surviving on rice and whatever else they can scrounge up.

Praise the Lord that He didn’t give in to the temptation to say no to the suffering of the cross! He could so easily have refused to go, but, for my sake, He endured it.

Links to scenes from the competition on Youtube:

4th Individual Immunity Challenge Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIZUlkuWqoM

4th Individual Immunity Challenge Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM6sFV_4jGI

Please note, I do not support everything portrayed in this reality TV show. Viewer discretion recommended.

A few of the contestants took the food offered, the rest got into position.

The first contestant only held on for a few minutes. Others for half an hour, their faces twisting in discomfort. They fought to endure long enough to win the prize.

On and on the competition went. Some contestants constantly shifted, hoping to relieve the pain. Others stood stock still, focusing on staying up. Some groaned and moaned. One or two, upon letting go, sank to the ground for a time before standing up to move to the side where they watched the others compete.

Finally, only two remained. One tried to convince the other to let him win, but neither would give up, despite being so utterly exhausted. At last, after 5 and a half hours of painful enduring, only one man was left standing. He was named the victor and received the reward.

Watching this competition, my mind recalled Jesus’ suffering. Not only did He endure a similar position for hours, but He was whipped nearly to death first. He was stripped naked and openly mocked. He was spat on and had a crown of thorns pressed into his skull. On top of all that, He endured the wrath due me for my sins.

He endured all that for me.

He could so easily have given up!

When Judas betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and one of Jesus’ disciples tried to fight back, Jesus said:

“Put your sword back in its place… Do you think I cannot call on My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”  Mat. 26:52-54 NIV

Jesus chose to endure suffering beyond what I can comprehend. Why? Because He loves me.

What a wonderful Saviour we serve.

Happy Easter – He is risen indeed!

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