We are now just past the middle of lent, which is naturally a time of reflection and thinking about our Lord Jesus Christ, who He was; who He is; and about what He did for us.

This year lets do something different. Lets imagine we are Jesus mum, Mary. Lets put our selves in her shoes for an hour and try and see from a different perspective who Jesus is and what He did on that day at Calvary.

So lets imagine we had just given birth to this wonderful little baby. There is so much interest in Him. Even before He was born, Angels came to see you and explain what God was going to do through you. Now your little baby boy is the focus of kings and wise men, but He is your little child. It is you who feeds him, provides for him and protects him. It is you that would give your life up for your child.

As you watch him grow, you see his personality appearing, the things He likes and things he prefers not to be around. You watch him grow and take an interest in Church, and be able to hold conversations with the wise men and prophets with a wisdom beyond his years. But still it is you he comes home to and you that feed him. It is you that holds him and takes care of him. He is the centre of your life.

You watch as he learns his trade, the work he will become good at, and will provide for his family when the time comes.

Now you wonder what life will be like when he gets married and starts his own family. What will your grand children be like. So you watch him as he grows, guiding him and supporting him where you can. All the time, he is the focus of your life, and you would do anything to protect him and care for him.

Then things start to change, he is starting out on a new phase of his life. He has a new more determined focus. He seems to be attracting all sorts of people. People are crowding around him, asking for all sorts of things. He is helping people to get better and teaching them about life and Heaven and earth. How to be compassionate for people, how to love people. He is telling stories to those that will listen. He is performing miracles way beyond what you can make sense of, but you know in your heart he is special. You know he is telling the truth.

But the things he is saying are upsetting the religious leaders, and the governors of the town. You have faith in him, but you can see there is a group of people who don't want him to be saying these things. The religious leaders think he is blaspheming against their god. Your baby boy is showing these leaders to be false and selfish.

Things are beginning to get a bit violent now. You are worrying about your little boy, who isn't so little anymore. Things are getting out of your control. You want to protect him, but you know you have to trust him. In your heart you know he is right, and he must continue, though you would give anything for this not to be happening to him.

There is now a full on movement, almost a war coming against your boy now. Things are way beyond worrying, and you are now helpless. Your little boy who holds your heart and his friends are being persecuted by so many in power and huge numbers of people are calling for the death of your boy, even though you have seen him do so much good for so many. You are at your wits end, but your boy is calm. Whilst you would give everything to get him out of there, to stop this nightmare, your little boy is telling you this is what needs to happen. He is telling you he must die. The most traumatic thing for a parent, but your boy is saying it has to happen.

Then you hear the judgement against him, sentenced to death. More than you can bear. Things are out of control now. You are now just a passenger in this nightmare. Your boy is arrested, whipped so badly, and humiliated beyond what a normal person could endure. Then as if things couldn't get any worse, he has been given this huge horrific cross to carry through the streets. This is going to be the instrument of his death. He can barely stand up let alone carry this huge thing, yet he is still being whipped and forced to carry on. When finally he reaches Calvary, you cant breath, you cant stand up, you are in complete panic. As your son is hoisted on this barbaric instrument of torture, you see you little boy, concerned for you. He is asking his friend John to look after you his mother. Because even though he is on that cross, unable to breath, in more agony than you can even image, being forced to be there; He is still thinking of you. He is making sure that you are being taken care of. He is asking God to forgive those that are doing this to him. He is looking down from the cross with such love and such grace for those holding him there. Whilst he was being taunted and tortured, he had such pity on them. He had so much love for them. Even one of the thieves who was on the cross next to your son realised that your son doesn't deserve to be there, and yet your son is offering this man eternal life. Today you will be with me in Heaven Jesus says to this man.

Jesus allowed this to happen, even at the worst points, He still continued through this nightmare, so that we are spared from this torture, this horrific consequence to our sin. He chose to die, so that we don't have to. He chose to give you eternal life if you choose it. He chose to fight and defeat satan so that you can choose to have life now and for ever more in Heaven because on that day at Calvary, Jesus died, and 3 day later Jesus defeated even death itself so that we may choose to share our lives with Jesus. This little precious boy grew into the most wonderful

He loves you with all of his life. Heaven awaits us if we choose to believe in Jesus!

Jesus Chose to do this for you and me.

It cost Mary and Joseph the most precious thing they had, their child.

It cost God the most precious thing he had, His child.

What ever we choose to give up during lent will never compare to this, but it helps us to think about the huge and enormous love shown to each of us on that day.

Lets spend some time talking to Jesus about what he did for us, and thanking Him for this sacrifice beyond our comprehension.

Lets spend some time bringing and discussing our shortfalls with Jesus, asking for help, strength and guidance to become the person Jesus knows we can be.

Lets spend some time asking and discussing with Jesus who we can reach out to, who we can help and encourage. Who we can show our Lords amazing love to this Easter.

Finally, lets spend some time talking to the Lord, sharing our hopes and dreams with Him, and asking what His hopes and dreams are for us. Lets ask for His help for the rest of this year, and lets try and listen each day for His guidance, and to watch His love in action.

Lord, words cannot express our gratitude and thankfulness for all that you went through so that we don't have to. All that you went through to save us from our selves. All that you went through to share eternity with us. Thank you Lord Jesus. Help us to share your love and compassion with those around us. Help us to be friends to those searching. Help us to learn about and understand you, our Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Help us to hear the guidance you give us through the Holy Spirit. Help us to remember to say good morning to you and our Father in Heaven each morning, and say good night to you each evening. Help us to please you each day. Please draw close to us, help us to know you more each day. Thank you so much Lord Jesus for all you did for us on the cross that day, and what you have done for us each day since then. Thank you Lord. Amen