"This is Amazing Grace" -Phil Wickham
I'm just now starting to realize that Jesus didn't actually have to die on the cross. Growing up, it was part of the story. It was the next scene. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. That's just how it goes.
I didn't realize (and now I realize, yet forget) that it didn't have to go that way. I kept forgetting that one of the amazing things about the God I believe in is that he always gives people a choice.
He doesn't demand. There is a choice.
I've been wrestling with my role as a Christ follower and what that looks like with choices. And I keep coming back to, we all have choices. That's what makes our choices real. That's what makes our decisions authentic.
I also recently read a somewhat similar thought, but in regards to Joseph, rather than Jesus. (You can read it here!)
Back to the choice of the cross. You can see some of the wrestling from Jesus in the Gospels. When I say Jesus didn't have to die on the cross, I don't mean there was an alternative to the cross--there wasn't. But I mean he didn't have to say yes.
And all that realization does is make me fall more in love with Him. And make me realize how much he loves loving us. And how much he desires us. And how much he is reaching out to humanity. And how much he desperately and excitedly and passionately pursues us.
The cross needed to happen, but only if people were worth the cost.
And Jesus said, heck yeah.