In John 19:38-42, I read of Joseph of Arimethea who petitioned Pilate for the bloody body of Christ, so he could bind Him with linens and fragrant spices. Nicodemus joined him in this quest, the man who once came to Jesus by night for fear of the Jews. Why was this a costly sacrifice? Not just because of the excessive amount of spices used, as if this could erase the stench of the horrible death he suffered. Not just because of the extravagance poured out, but because of the association both of these men would now have with a condemned criminal.
Oh my goodness, there are many criminals in the church today… true criminals, not innocent ones like Jesus. Criminals who break His laws and expose His body to open shame. Am I willing to wrap them? Associate with them? Cover them with love? Love covers. Not with denial or shame or harsh, abusive words but with Truth.
Then love awaits resurrection. It waits to see darkness unravel and light and life break forth. This can be a costly sacrifice but it is always worth the wait.
Lord, thank you for wrapping me with an excessive amount of love, thank you for being willing to associate with me, a criminal unworthy, yet pardoned by your costly sacrifice.