The death of Jesus on the cross represents the ultimate act of pure, sacrificial love. He actually “used” the cross for good. He used that hideous device and the heinous actions of sinful men against him to bring about God’s good plan to rescue and bless humanity. Through the pouring out of his life in this manner we receive “one gracious blessing after another.” In Ephesians 2, the Apostle Paul refers to the incredible wealth of God’s grace and kindness toward us demonstrated by Christ. He then states that we are now God’s masterpiece that He has wrought for the purpose of doing good deeds that He planned for us long ago. Jesus set the perfect example for us in this. He emptied himself in order to fill us. Now he asks us to empty ourselves of that which he has given to us in order that others who are empty may be filled.
As followers of Jesus, we serve Jesus by serving others. We work in partnership with the Lord. This partnership is not one of our making, but of his. He first partnered with the Father to serve us, to save us. He then initiated a partnership with us by inviting us to join him in his work to serve and save others. The apostle John said in I John 4, “We love, because he first loved us.” If Jesus had not emptied himself into us, we would have nothing to offer to anyone else. We cannot manufacture pure love. God is the only source of it and we can only pass pure love on to others as we receive it from him. His job is to fill us, and our job is to make room in our hearts and souls to receive what he pours out to us and then empty ourselves into other needy souls. Our role is to serve as a conduit of God’s blessings.
As Jesus put it in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If anyone remains joined to me, and I to him, he will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me.” (NIRV)
In order for a garden hose to carry water to dry ground it must be connected to the water source. In order for us to carry God’s love, grace, forgiveness, help and healing to a dry, empty soul, we must be firmly connected to the divine source “from whom all blessings flow.” Nothing of eternal value can be sourced in us. If there is a disconnect between us and the Savior, no living water will flow from us. But, if we recognize Jesus to be the Giver of Life and remain joined to him then, not only will our souls be nourished by his life-giving flow, but other thirsty souls will be revived by Christ’s living water that flows through us.