The life of Jesus is a perfect demonstration of pure and beautiful love. Both His death and resurrection are testaments to the fact that His love is endless and unconditional.
It is easy to say you love someone when they love you back. On the other hand, loving those who hate you is not as natural of a task. While Jesus was on earth he was surrounded by both those who loved Him and those who despised Him. At the time of His crucifixion, however, He was abandoned by nearly all those who had claimed to love Him. Suddenly, within a matter of days, it seemed like the whole world was against Jesus. Even one of His hand-picked disciples betrayed Him. On the day He died, His followers had scattered in fear. His own people called for His crucifixion. He died a painful death on a cross, surrounded by a sea of people who doubted and despised Him. A pure and innocent man–fully God and fully human–suffered and died in a way that even the worst criminal should not be condemned to.
After all of this, He came back and gave us His heart. He came back and said to the people who had condemned Him to death, “I love you.” He showed us with His life that He loved us; with His death and resurrection, He added that His love is unconditional.
Imagine looking into the eyes of the person who has hurt you the most and telling them that you love them. But you don’t just say the words; you mean it and you want them to know that your love is genuine and pure. That is a nearly impossible task, one that even the greatest saints surely struggled to carry out. It is equally difficult from the other side. Words of love coming from a person who you believe despises you may be painful to hear and seem insincere. Yet Jesus rose from the dead and returned to His people, the very people that stood and watched as He was taken and crucified. He stood humbly before them and gave them His heart, gave us His heart. He showed that He loves us despite what has been done to Him. He forgives even the sins of those who hurt Him the most. As difficult as it may be to believe, He really does mean it, and nothing that you have done or ever will do could ever change that. He will never cease to offer His love to us. It is up to us to open our hearts and allow His love to fill us.
Jesus came back and said to us “I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). He came back and not only gave us His heart, but gave us hope. He needed us to know that there is life in Him and with Him, both in heaven and on earth. He departed, leaving behind an open invitation to share His Father and His God with us. He invites us all into heaven: those who caused Him excruciating pain and robbed Him of His life, as well as his loyal followers.
He rose so that we could see that death is not the end; so that we would know that it is possible to love and forgive even those who have done the worst to us. He came back to give us hope and show that no act is beyond the scope of His grace and love.