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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Jesus Said "No" to Heaven's Delights

Because of the Lenten Season anticipating the Passion and then resurrection of Jesus, I was mediating on what Jesus said "no" to because of being here on earth. He said "no" to the delights of his home, heaven. 

Those thoughts seem very real to me because Larry and I have been away from home ministering in Greece for almost five weeks. We'll head home in three days and now that "home" is getting closer, I'm thinking of what I'll appreciate when I'm home: my own bed, my own pillow, favorite foods and drinks, and the clothes I didn't bring! 

When I think of what Jesus might have missed while here, I really can't imagine since I'm sure anything I can imagine can't compare to the glories of heaven. Did He miss the angels' singing? Did He miss the exquisite colors? Did He miss being able to be transported anywhere at a moment's thought?

But Jesus said no to all those things in order to obey His Father and love us enough to secure our salvation. And as a human, He must have experienced things that He never did in heaven although I'm not sure to what degree He experienced humanness. Did He stub His toe? Did He hurt His shoulder? Did He ever fall down as a child? Did He hit His finger while hammering a nail? 

We'll never know. 

We do know that He experienced deep emotional pain. He cried overlooking Jerusalem. He grieved the loss of his earthly father. He grieved with Mary and Martha. He was under so much stress that He sweat drops like blood. He didn't want to go to the cross, yet He chose to do so. He sacrificed a lot.

As is common for some people in the Lenten season, I've been saying "no" to a few things that I really enjoy: like desserts. As I resisted chocolate cream pie at lunch today, I reminded myself that Jesus said no to something even more fabulous: the delights of heaven. And maybe even worse, His Father's approval when He took on our sins. 

My "sacrifice" is so tiny compared to His and I'm so glad I don't have to do such things to earn God's love. As someone has said, "There's nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there's nothing you can do to make God love you less." Because of that love, God sent Jesus away from Heaven in order to show us that incredible love. 

If you are saying "no" to something this Lenten season, think of Jesus and what He said "no" to. I hope you'll be drawn into even greater gratitude, like I am, for Jesus' demonstration of His love. 

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