Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:37
Matthew 26:36-56, Matthew 27:11-28:10, Mark 14:32-65, Mark 15-16:11, Luke 22:39-54, Luke 23-24:1-12, John 18:1-14, John 18:19-20:1-18
Have you ever played the game “Would you rather?” It is a simple question game where you ask someone, “Would you rather do _____ or _____?” For example, would you rather take an ice bath or swim in a pool of ketchup? It is a silly game that forces you to decide which of the options given is better than the other. Jesus always gives us a choice in life and it is up to us to choose which is the best option.
When we look back at the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection – His betrayal at the Garden of Gethsemane, His humiliation and torture in front of a crowd and His ultimate death on a cross – it seems impossible that Jesus did all of this for us. He went through unimaginable pain physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually so we would not have to. He took the penalty for our sin and He did it because He loved us and wanted us to have a choice to love Him in return.
Jesus’ death and resurrection was all a part of God’s plan to invite us into His Kingdom to spend eternity with Him. He hoped and prayed that we would choose Him, but that is up to us. The second part of the story is that Jesus rose again just three days after His death. There is hope! We can choose the life of sin and pain that existed for us before Jesus’ resurrection or we can choose a life of faith and freedom that is available to us because Jesus rose again.
The heart of the Easter story lies in Christ’s love and desire to give us a choice in life. It is a game of “Would you rather?” with a much better option: The chance to love and follow Jesus the rest of our lives.
Questions to think about:
- What did Jesus’ death on the cross accomplish?
- How is your life different now than it was before you chose Jesus?
- Why is it significant that Jesus lets us decide if we want to follow Him or not?