Before today, I'd never seen these lambs.
They're adorable, they're full of life and innocence, and I'd be horrified to watch them die a brutal death. But their death wouldn't affect me as much as this baby goat's would.
I cradled her, stroked her soft fur, felt her heart race against her ribcage, and breathed in her new, baby scent. The image of this little one suffering brings me to tears because I knew her better; she is more precious to me.
So it goes with my Jesus. When I first met Him, His scourging and crucifixion was terrible and tragic. I would grow somber and shed several tears when depictions of His suffering were before me.
But now I know Him better. He is more precious to me. Simply thinking about His suffering is enough to draw a few tears. A description makes me cry. A depiction brings sobs.
With this realization, though, comes a greater understanding of His love. Not just for me, that He would endure such a death to save me, but also for the Father. On the Mount of Olives the night before His death, Jesus prayed, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." Such obedience doesn't come out of a sense of obligation. It comes from a deep, abiding, and passionate love.
I pray I come to love the Father more and more like Jesus loved him, just as my love for Jesus grows more and more.