Every little kid grows up looking to their father as a role model. A superhero in their eyes. I can remember when I was a little kid, sitting in our living room window just watching, waiting, for my dad to cross back over the creek from the flat from his morning sit. I would run downstairs to his “office”, which was really more of a room for taxidermy, guns, scent-free camo bags, and so on. It really wasn’t an office. I’d eagerly ask about his hunt with a big smile, and soak in every little detail he spoke. Some days I could just tell by the tone of his voice and the missing arrow in his quiver that the next words out of his mouth would be, “Do you want to go track my deer with me?”, even if he had already found where the whitetail had fallen. The answer was generally interpreted as a resounding yes as I slid into my Realtree pants and boots.
I still remember the first time he took me with him on a hunt. It was the opening evening of muzzleloader in PA, and we ended up harvesting a mature doe right at last light. I remember the first deer I ever shot with him was on a rainy, cold November morning. Regardless of which hunt it was, or what the weather decided to do that day, I was always comfortable. I was always warm. When I got cold, he would take off his XL Scent Blocker jacket, and hand it to me to make sure I stayed warm. His love, care, and comfort led me to something that changed the rest of my life. His actions when I was 4 years old waiting for him in that window, led me into a love that would open doors in my life now 17 years later.
The same exact thing happened with Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect, sinless life. In fact, He didn’t even have to come to earth and live a mortal life. But he chose to. He knew that his time and actions on this earth, even though the people around him didn’t know it yet, would affect the rest of their lives. Jesus came to this world for 33 years for one purpose and one purpose only. To take away your suffering, your hurt, to give you the ability to live a life worth living. To open doors in your life. To do this, He selflessly suffered on a rugged cross. Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Just like my dad gave his jacket to me, even if it meant he would suffer the elements, Jesus came to earth and selflessly gave his life on a brutal wooden cross for us. A Father’s love is endless for those He loves, and Jesus loves each one of us, and every imperfection we have. To this day, I will never forget what my dad did for me as a kid, and I think every once in awhile we all need a reminder that Christ loves each and every one of us so much, that He gave up His own pride, was spit on and mocked, and took on the eternal pain of the world, so that we could love Him, shine His light, and open doors for us that would have never been otherwise possible.