Today, after an early dismissal at school, I watched Troy. The movie is based on Homer’s The Iliad, which is the whole story about Achilles, the Trojan horse, and so on. As I watched the 2 hour and 49 minute movie (very long movie, but good), the story really just enveloped me. I’ve watched it twice before, and I really enjoyed it, so I decided I had to go out and buy it for myself. Every time, the complex plot really gets me. Who’s the good guy, and who’s the bad guy? It’s an interesting story to analyze. But throughout the movie, the theme of love is portrayed. Indeed, the whole story would not have begun were it not for love. Prince Paris of Troy falls in love with Helen of Sparta, and in the midst of peace talks, steals her away back with him. He fights for her – thought quite naive to go against a seasoned warrior, his courage is admired. His brother fights for the love of his country, and the love of his brother, defending him when he is injured. King Priam of Troy goes on a daring venture into the Greek camp to recover the dead body of his eldest son, whom he loves. Achilles fights for the love of his cousin, who was murdered, and near the end of the movie, he returns to the now-burning city of Troy to rescue his love, the priestess Polydora. Over and over again, the theme of love and the sacrifice people are willing to make for it is emphasized.
After watching the movie, I went upstairs to do my devotions and found the same theme emphasized within the pages of the Bible. I read Mark 15:1-24 today, and it is the story of Jesus before Pilate, and the events leading up to His crucifixion. Captivated, I read the words portraying Jesus’ love like it was the first time. And as I processed it through my mind, I realized a very important thing. Jesus’ love didn’t begin and end at the cross. Indeed, His love knows no bounds. As I read about how the Roman soldiers mocked and beat Him, I understood that even then, while they were torturing Him, He was forgiving them and loving them all the same. Even as they spit in His face, He was preparing to show the greatest act of love toward them that they could ever know. And though tragically, most never understood this act of love, Jesus sacrificed everything He had for them. He died for the religious leaders and the Sanhedrin, who brought false witnesses to testify against Him. He even loved those false witnesses as they spoke lies about Him. He loved Pilate, even as Pilate gave the order to crucify Him. He loved the crowd, who, in a total change in direction, went from praising Him to shouting the orders for His execution. And He loves you and me, though we all betray Him.
Why is this? Why should the God of all heaven and earth care enough about us to die for us? Why should the sinless one, who never deserved death, take our sin on His shoulders and give up His life? How could anyone love like that? How could anyone love such wretched creatures as us? The answer is unfathomable. It lies only in the mind of the God who understands it, and for all who simply choose to accept it, He will explain it to us for all eternity. His love knows no bounds. His love is not limited by our sin or our failures. If they were, then we would all still be headed for death. But Christ’s love is infinite and incomprehensible. He loved us enough to die for us, and His matchless mercy and grace covers us like a blanket that stretches over time and space, over success and failure, over grief, guilt, and human frailty, and loves us just where we are. Truly, He is a God of wonders, and the most wonderful thing there is to behold is the realization that His love has freed us from all our wrongdoings. With that thought, I leave you to take a moment to thank Him for all He has done for us that we could never return. He truly is amazing.