Friday, June 4, 2021by Reverend Dan on June 4, 2021
“Greater love hath no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends.”
For months and months, the religious leaders had looked for a reason to have Jesus arrested. They finally got Him on some trumped-up charges and took the opportunity to try Him, find Him guilty, and crucify Him all within a 24-hour period.
Now, what’s ironic is that while those charges were bogus, there was something He could have been justifiably arrested for AFTER His death: Loitering.
And why He did it is hard to understand. He had seen and endured the worst the world had to offer. He was born in a stable with dirty animals all around. He had been the brunt of Satan’s temptations and people’s insults. He had suffered whips and thorns and spikes driven into His hands and feet. After that He descended to the worst place a soul can go; a dungeon that no key before Him could ever unlock. While He was there, He wrenched the heavy door of death from its hinges.
So, after all He had been through here, why did Jesus loiter around earth after He died? That’s the one thing He really WAS guilty of. Heaven was waiting to welcome Him home. From darkness to unimaginable light. From the screams of souls bound to hell to the choruses of the heavenly choir. From the agony of death to the gates of Glory. Why did He loiter when all that awaited?
And He still had some more to endure. He was mistaken for a gardener at the tomb. He was doubted by one of His own disciples. He walked with two of His followers on the road to Emmaus, but they didn’t recognize Him until dinner. Why did He loiter?
Salvation was secured. Death was defeated. The Holy Spirit was ready and on standby for Pentecost. There were no loose ends left, no more “t’s” to cross or “i’s” to dot, no work left undone. So why in God’s name would He loiter another second here on earth?
In that question is the answer. God’s name. Love. That’s why he loitered around a few more days. To leave no doubt to His disciples or the more than 500 eyewitnesses that He had risen and was alive.
Jesus loitered for you and for me. He loitered for love.
Father thank you for sending Your Son to die in our place so that we might live again. Help us to make a place in our lives for Him to loiter forever. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.