And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” —Luke 22:19-20

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”  And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. —Luke 22:41-44

            His body was broken for us.  He was verbally abused for us.  He was mocked for us.  He was spit upon for us.  He was punched in the face for us.  He was lashed for us .  He had a crown of thorns pressed on His head for us.  He was forced to carry His cross for us .  He was nailed to the cross for us .  He was lifted up to hang on that cross for us .  He agonized on the cross for us.  He died for us.  “For God so loved the world He gave His only Son…” (John 3:16) for us.

            His blood gathered under His bruised skin for us .  His blood ran from His lashed wounds for us.  His blood dripped from the puncture wounds from the crown of thorns for us.  His blood smeared the wooden cross He carried for us .  His blood ran down the cross when He was lifted up for us.  He died for us.  Blood and water flowed from the puncture wound from the soldiers spear for us.  “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4) for us.

            His body given for us— “Just as there were many who were appalled at him —his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness” (Isaiah 52:14) and “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5; I Peter 2:24).  This is astounding when we think that Jesus “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8) for us.  “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).

            Jesus agonized over the cross that He would soon be suffering on, but “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2) for us.  “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (I John 3:1).  Wow!  Rejoice brother and sister.  The best is yet to come for us!

Father words cannot express the astounding sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for me, for the world.  But in deep, loving gratitude may I live faithfully for You.  May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it!

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