Chan Gin Kai
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
After the amazing repentance of Zacchaeus, Jesus remarked that it was for this very reason that he had come to earth — to seek and save the lost.
Jesus was clear about his mission. He did many things while he was on earth — he healed, he exorcised, he fed, he taught... But his ultimate goal was clear, he had come to save.
Jesus knew what it would encompass. He would have to preach and teach, a lot. And so he did, from day to night, from villages to cities, from individuals to multitudes. Some listened to him, some ignored him, and some even persecuted him. Each soul that repented filled his heart with joy. The rejections may disappoint or even hurt him, but they never swayed him from his mission.
Jesus knew that his mission required him to die. All those hearts he had touched and all their acts of repentance would have been useless if he didn’t die. His sacrifice was required to complete the plan of salvation.
And so Jesus died, the innocent for the guilty, the perfect for the unworthy. It was unfair and screams against all sense of justice. Shouldn’t the righteous be rewarded and the wicked be punished?
But Jesus took over their place… our place… MY PLACE. He completed his mission.
Throughout history, many brave men and women have died willingly for others. Some died for people they loved. Some sacrificed their lives for their countries or a cause they believed in. It takes an incredible amount of courage to give up your life for someone else. You don’t do it on a whim or a fancy; it is tough even if you have a reason.
What was Jesus’ reason? It was his obedience to God, and his love for us. The tougher the mission, the more compelling must the reason be. Incredible sacrifice takes incredible love.
That was what kept Jesus resolute on his mission. It was what spurred him each day when he woke up, and energised him each time he felt worn out. It was what moved him to preach tirelessly. As he carried the cross on his back through a throng of accusing crowd, and screamed while nails were driven through his hands and feet, the only thing that kept him to his mission was love.
How does one die for his enemies? What can move someone to sacrifice his life for the unworthy, the ungrateful, and the immoral? An impossible mission was made possible because of incredible love.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Commitment, courage and integrity are great and desirable qualities. In a world that is full of hypocrisy and short on morals, we can only hope that more people exhibit these virtues. But as wonderful as these qualities are, they can only bring us so far. These virtues alone, without love, cannot go the distance.
We are called to assume the mantle of Jesus, to bring his words and love to the people around us. His mission has become ours, and unless our reason is love, we are bound to fail. Selfishness, laziness, fear and disappointments will conspire to stop us from fulfilling this calling. But when we are touched by the love of God and learn to love like Him, we will be moved to help save others too.
When God’s reason becomes our reason, Jesus’ mission will become ours too.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves actively in the Central Christian Church and describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.