I was thinking what a good follow up to our “The Cross” series would be and I thought, “The love of God”. We cannot talk about the cross without delving into the undeniable, sacrificial, uncontainable, endless love of God. Then I thought of the song, “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury and immediately thought, “I’m not that poetic I should pick a different topic!”
Notwithstanding my reservations to delve into this topic, we are going to be talking about the love of God over the next few weeks. What does the Bible say about God’s love for us? A lot. We’ll start with John 15:13 which says, “For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life[a] for his friends.
a. Or “willingly lay down his soul for his friends.” The Aramaic word for “friends” is actually “family” or “relatives.””.
This is a good place to start as we are coming out of Easter and we know that Jesus laid down His life for us, His eternal family. The footnote makes me understand the verse better hence I included it in the above text. Jesus laid down not only His life but His soul for us. Our soul is our mind, will and emotions.
In order for Jesus to fulfill the will of the Father and for redemption’s work to be complete, Jesus had to lay down His mind, will and emotions. He put aside His thoughts and emotions about the cross and did what had to be done so we could be saved. Hebrews 12:2 tells us what the cross looked like to Jesus, it says, “… Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!”.
The cross was a humiliating way to die. They first whipped Him so badly and beyond recognition that flesh was hanging out of His body and then they made Him carry His own cross. But He had been so brutally whipped He could hardly carry it. Then they nailed Him to the cross, naked. Dying on the cross was a shameful and brutal death. So torturous that it was reserved for only the most hardened criminals. Jesus thinking about the cross, asked the Father if there was another way for you and I to find salvation and there was none so He endured the cross but His mind was fixated on you and me. Jesus saw us in His future and for that reason, He chose to endure the cross.
He didn’t have a quick death. He didn’t take the easy way out. He didn’t call a thousand angels to bring Him down from the cross. He did not even consider Himself as God in that moment as He became sin for us that we might be righteous. Jesus paid a high price for you and I and He did it all because of His great love for us. This message is not poetic. I hoped it would be but love as much as it is poetic, it is sacrificial. This may be a bit graphic for some but it is the reality of the price that was paid for you. That’s how much God loves you and values you. If you were the only sinner on Earth and everyone was so holy and righteous, Jesus still would have died just for you.
You are loved beyond measure. God showed us His love on the cross and each day He wants us to hear Him say, “I love you” in our hearts that we may be reminded who we are and whose we are.
Love and blessings,