The Power of Love
John 3 : 16
Darkness had fallen, and with it a silence over the city broken only by the barking of dogs and the occasional scuff of hurrying sandals. In the house the children went reluctantly to bed - it was time for adult conversation – but as Mary moved between the men to clear the plates, someone knocked at the door. A cautious knock, she thought. Low voices in the outer room made them all uneasy, and they exchanged glances till Peter emerged followed by, of all people, the Pharisee Nicodemus.
He had come to speak with the Master of course, but from their conversation, Mary had no idea why, or whether he found what he was looking for. He posed questions, and Jesus answered, but it was as though the Master was pre-occupied with particular ideas; thinking aloud rather than debating with his visitor. She saw the room fall quiet, other conversations stall, each head turn gradually to Jesus.
He paused, and looked round the room, studying the faces, “For God so loved the world,” he said, “that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
As he spoke, Mary’s heartbeat throbbed in her ears; she caught her breath. ‘What does he mean ?’ she thought, ‘Is he ready to tell all Jerusalem who he is ? Shall I see the Messiah crowned king ?’
Her mind spun on as she poured the wine for them, catching his words in snatches. She felt elated, excited, at the centre of things. What had he said . . . everyone who believes in him will not perish . . . not condemn the world but save it ?
‘At last,’ she thought, ‘This amazing man who has changed my life, will change everyone’s lives. What will he do next ?’
And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha. They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. Then they nailed him to the cross.
Crucifixion, Lord, public torture, brutal death.
A graphic picture in my mind and no words come.
The frozen horror of the women and disciples extends to me.
Forgive me Lord, I’ve wondered – just like them – you could’ve stopped
the circus of those trials,
or crushed the might of Rome with a Creator’s power.
Help me to see, Lord, how Love required a different death;
your willing consent to lay down a perfectly good life.
How can I thank you for taking the penalty of all my bad decisions, the things
a Judge would condemn me for ?
Lord, thank you for showing me that Love has the power to deal with them,
even the very worst things in life.
I see that death was a Creator’s work
so many years ago.
written by Fiona Campbell