By Pastor Robert Perez
In order for Jesus to prove his trust as worthy, he had to do something not previously done. All throughout humanities reign on earth people had suffered torture and death for causes, but this time it would be different. Jesus made a promise to always loves us, no matter what. We can all easily say these same words, and many of us do without really believing it, but his was a pure love, and that is the difference.
Think for yourself about being in a state of love, maybe for your children or for someone you’re romantically involved with. That condition is maintained by the parameters of your circumstances. Change the parameters and you’re likely to change your state of being from love to something else.
This is even true with parents, whose love is supposed to be automatic and everlasting. When a child is difficult, for example, sometimes a parent’s love can wane. Think of your own love example and how easily it might change if nudged in the wrong direction. Can you love someone the same after they’ve cheated on you? Can you love your child the same if they intentionally harm you?
Jesus taught us many things during his ministry about the nature of love for one another and God’s love for us, and he used his own life as the final example of this.
How did the parameters surrounding Jesus’ love for us change in his final days? We turned on him full circle. We loved him, then we spat on him. We praised him, then we called him a heretic. We worshiped him, then we shouted for his death. What is more astonishing is that he knew it was going to happen as it did and stayed his course anyway. He didn’t try to manipulate earthly circumstances to his advantage. Terrified of the torture he was about to endure, he did pray to his Father for the chance of another way, but there was none. In order to beat the enemy, he had to prove that he could not be broken. So, he accepted it as God’s will and purpose. He trusted.
Jesus knew the enemies’ game was a simple one. Get the people he was trying to save to turn against him and he would crack under pressure and woe. Surely, no one could endure such a reversal without some form of resentment. In fact, most humans would be so devastated by it that they would allow their love to transform into it’s opposite. All too often, hate is merely the manifestation of wounded love.
Think of the minute-to-minute experience of torture or abuse. The horrible nature of man has people suffering all manner of abuses every second of every day. I myself can barely endure thinking about it without my own anger and hate growing in me, and it hasn’t even happened to me, nor to people that I know (with some heart-breaking exceptions). I know myself well enough to know that if you fuck with my family, it will bring out the devil in me, that is until God taps me on the shoulder to remind me of His presence, and I am calm again, knowing that nothing will ever happen to my family because of my trust in Him.
Under those circumstances, how was it possible for Jesus to carry his love for us all the way to his last breath? Because Jesus had unfailing trust in God. He knew without question that he needed to fulfill what was asked of him, and if he could, he would transcend to his rightful place that was waiting for him. So, he didn’t break the trust of his Father.
But there was a second part of his trust that was equally important, our trust in him. He promised us that no matter what he would always love us. Every word that came from his mouth would be made null if he failed at this even for a millisecond of time. It could only be complete if he purely, sincerely, without any diminishing change, keep the same love that he showed and promised us to the last beat of his heart.
Not only did he not waiver in his love for us, but at it’s worst, he begged on our behalf for our forgiveness. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” When he knew that he had reached the finish line he said, “It is done,” and the world was changed forever. This is someone we can trust.
Do we deserve such love and forgiveness? How much less so for those in the moment who watched and cheered for Jesus’s slow and painful death? And yet we are eternally loved.
Man has always bartered with trust as the core of good relationships, whether it’s in a marriage, business, between countries and so one. Each child is born with natural trust for their parents. People marry with the intent of fostering and nurturing trust till death do them part. Countries sign binding agreements to express their trust for each other. Yet over and over, we betray this trust all too easily.
Jesus proved that the trust we give is all that we can control, for the trust that comes to us is uncertain. We must not let our own trust be the one that tarnishes, no matter the circumstances. When you maintain a trusting spirit, especially to God, that is when the manifestation of God’s energy becomes it’s most potent and powerful.
Humans are complicated machines. We have a physical body that needs constant maintenance. We have a mind that needs an unfathomable amount of micro-adjustments to stay sane and healthy. We also have a spirit that needs equal attention, but it is often the most overlooked.
We’re content on making it to old age and dying as long as our body and mind are good enough. In addition, there’s a false belief that the spirit in us is ever present and can take care of itself, or at the least, needs only minor tweaks here and there, like on holidays or when we say grace before devouring our fast food.
We don’t even know how to trust ourselves. We second guess our motivations, our relationships, our choices, ad nauseum. Then we go on autopilot and say, “Ahhh, fuck it”.
It doesn’t matter if you’re from LA or the Sudan, trust is the genuine manifestation of Christ’s love in yourself. Be the one that God can say, “this is a person I can trust and who trusts Me.”
Jesus showed us it is not what you receive that matters most, but what you give. If you can make it to the end with a spirit that is unbroken, you will have manifested Gods will in human form. You may not see its full impact throughout your life, but trust that it did change those around you and humanity as a whole. Amen to that…