I am a Christian. My religion is Christianity.
Uttering these words may immediately bring to your mind all kinds of negative thoughts. I admit that in the name of Christianity and religion, many atrocities have been committed.
I don’t criticize you for thinking these thoughts. Instead, I ask you to be patient with me and read further.
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for I know in my heart that it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16a).
This means that I love all people. I admit that I don’t like all people, but I will never shy away from showing them the love that God shows me through His Son Jesus Christ.
This “love” that I’m talking about should not be thought of as a romantic kind of love. It goes so far beyond that as to be unrecognizable as romantic love.
It is a passionate love, however. My love for all others is tied to the passionate love of Jesus Christ.
The passionate love of Jesus Christ moved him to ride a donkey on this day (Sunday) nearly 2000 years ago. He rode on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem. People lined the street and shouted at him. They knew that Jesus was very special. They knew that Jesus had a new and different kind of love for people.
Five days later, Jesus would show the world the full extent of his love (John 13:1, NIV).
Jesus would take on the servant role and wash his disciples’ feet. He said that he came to serve and not be served (Matthew 20:28 ESV). He then took the Passover bread and wine and tied them to his death by saying “This is my body…this is my blood.” He suffers the punishment allotted for transgressing God’s Law. Not because he sinned, but because we sinned. Jesus loves us so much that he took the punishment we deserved. Jesus died on a cross and rose from the dead three days later (Easter) to give us abundant (John 10:10) and eternal (John 3:16) life.
I know this love of Jesus in my heart and in my life. This is my religion. This is what it means for me to be a Christian. I don’t want to criticize anyone. I don’t want the death of any sinner. I want to show the love of Jesus Christ to everyone I meet.