Don’t Let Love Perish
By Michelle C. Danko
Can we understand the magnitude of God’s love for us, or is our understanding somewhat limited by our thinking? Do we really think much about how much He loves us, or do we take it for granted? I think, as a whole, we don’t really think too much about the depth of God’s love for us. It has become just a concept and not a reality in our lives. If we could only realize how much we are valued, how special we are, and embrace how uniquely we were made, then many of the issues that we face in life would disappear. Everything we face, everything most of us crave in life, can be boiled down into one thing, which is the greatest thing, love.
We know that God loves us, but do we appreciate how different His love is for us? His love sees us as pure- without blemish- even though we sin. Even though we would judge others by their actions, God judges us by our hearts for He knows what is in them. In times when we would judge others for what they have done, and be punitive in our actions, God forgives them and loves them anyway.
God loves you anyway. Despite all of your flaws, imperfections, attitudes and actions, God sees you, His creation as good. God loved you so much that He allowed His only Son, who was without sin, to be crucified for you. If you think about the sacrifice of Jesus, do we appreciate what a sacrifice it was, and the magnitude of God’s love? In context, Jesus was born to die, just so that we can live and live in victory. God chose to sacrifice someone who was blameless, who was without sin, and who had done nothing wrong to die for those who do sin, who do things that are not always good, and who often mistreat others. If it were us, we would be commenting that it is unfair that we pay the penalty for something that we had not done! Yet Jesus did exactly that. He did it with love, forgiveness, and perfect obedience.
Jesus could have been angry at God that He was chosen to die for people who may not appreciate the sacrifice that He was about to make. He could have said, “Why me?” Instead He accepted His assignment because it was better that He be sacrificed to save us then for us to perish and live a defeated life. Jesus thought about us first, not himself, and He could have saved himself if He so chose, but He didn’t. He loved you that much.
In the account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, we know that He was beaten, mocked, mistreated, and despite being physically tortured was dragged to be hung on a cross like a spectacle. He did nothing wrong, and yet He paid the price. Much like the thieves that were crucified with Jesus, it could be said that we deserve the punishment that we get. Yet it is Jesus’ blood that was shed that covers our sins. Jesus didn’t deserve to be treated with malice, nor did He deserve to take on our sin, but He did anyway.
Furthermore, in a time in which He could have been angry at being treated so harshly, and after being mocked, He intercedes on their behalf:
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Could we do that? Just forgive our accusers when we haven’t done anything wrong, or would we be angry and lash out?
In the events that preceded His death, Jesus was given an opportunity to defend Himself- and chooses to say nothing. Pilate defends Him, and tries to rationalize with the angry mob of teachers and officials, yet to no avail. Jesus accepts His assignment. If He didn’t love us, why would anyone endure such physical and emotional pain? Why would anyone go through this type of torture and in the end, not only intercede on the behalf of his accusers (who in their minds were right in their assessment), but also forgave a repentant thief on the cross.
To further show God’s love for us, the temple veil was torn into two signifying that there was no longer any separation between God and His children. That instead of offering sacrifices, we were sanctified by the blood of Jesus. Instead of God seeing our sins, it is the blood of Jesus that was shed for our sins that allows God to see us as pure. It allows God to have a relationship with us, and to be in our presence.
The death of Jesus is an ultimate sacrifice that we tend to take for granted. It was an unselfish act, and a necessary one. God HAD to have loved His children enough to allow His Son to be treated in this manner. It was Jesus who chose to pay the penalty for sin for people who didn’t deserve it because of what we do. God chose to let His Son, whom He loved, to be beaten, mocked, mistreated, and put to death by His own children (us) who mistreat others, mock others, judge people, etc. Before you judge anyone, take a look at who died, and who, by our standards of equality, should have died, and you will see the magnitude of God’s love. We couldn’t do it. We couldn’t even imagine doing it, nor perhaps would we if God asked.
Yet we take for granted what the death of our Savior means. Some of us only remember that Jesus died around “Easter”, but few of us take time to thank God for this ultimate display of His love for His children. Jesus’ death becomes a passing thought in the midst of “Easter celebrations” with the Easter bunny, gifts, and dinner with family. Our focus has been taken off what “Resurrection Sunday” really means, and what it means to us as believers. Furthermore, the meaning of Jesus’ death shouldn’t just be remembered around the time of His death, but always. We place more emphasis on Jesus’ birth than His death, and it should be in reverse. Jesus’ birth was indeed a miracle, but His death had a greater significance because it means that we have direct assess to God, we are no longer separated, we are sanctified by the blood of Jesus, we are forgiven for our sins, we can live a life in victory, and we can live eternally in Heaven with Jesus. Jesus’ life taught us how to live, but His death enabled us to live in the victory that He personified.
Don’t choose to let the death of Christ be meaningless. It is an event of great significance for every believer. It is God showing how much He loves you, and what you mean to Him that He would sacrifice His only Son, who was without fault, to save you. It is not because you deserve it, it is not because you are a good person, and it is not on the merit of your good deeds, but because of one thing, and one reason alone: because He loves you. God loves you, and God will always love you. He loves you not because of what you do, or don’t do, but because you are special, you are His child, and you are His creation. There is nothing more precious to God than that!
Don’t let love perish, but keep the significance in your heart everyday. It will fill you with the love of Christ, and the hope of victory to come.