Lent, more than any other time, causes me to think long and hard about what Jesus did for us.
For example, all too often, I hear and say the phrase "Jesus died for our sins". And most of the time I accept that at face value - He died a horrible death on the cross so that we can enjoy peace with God.
But Lent gives me a reason to meditate on that more deeply ... to try and "feel" what that means.
Today's second reading - The First Letter of Peter 3:18-22 - gives us the following:
Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous
In other words, Christ, who had no sin, died for all of us sinners.
Sometimes I find that easy to accept because Jesus is God. His love far exceeds any love here on Earth. But in an attempt to really understand what that love is like, I came up with the following exercise.
Imagine the person you like least in this world. Maybe its someone you know or maybe its a criminal you saw on the news. (For this exercise it can even be a made-up "villain") Really think hard about how much you dislike them or the things they did.
Now imagine you are in a room with that person, and one of you has to die.
Would you give up your life for that person? After all the terrible things they did?
Imagine if you were perfect, and never did a single thing wrong here on Earth. Would you die for them?
To be honest, I don't think I would. (Ok lets face it, I know I wouldn't) But Jesus did. He died for me and for you and for all the other sinners out there until the end of time. He died for those that steal from the dollar store and for those that commit murders and abortions, so that one day, everyone has a chance to meet Him in Heaven.
I know that isn't a perfect comparison, but it's my attempt to really try and feel how awesome Jesus' gift to us is.
Thank you Jesus, for loving us that much.