What is love? Can you define it in a few words? You may love your possessions or love your spouse, but is that love a sacrificial love? Is that love like God has for us? Anyone who has a baby can understand a little about sacrificial love. Only someone who loves sacrificially would get out of bed at 2 AM to feed and change a diaper. When the baby cries out with a need, a loving parent puts aside their own comfort and tends to that precious baby. On a much greater scale, God’s love for us is much deeper than a parent’s love for their child. He knew our need before we cried out for help and gave us a solution.
Sin separates us from God, and most people live quite comfortably in sin. We don’t even realize how miserable we are, but the sin we embrace is a death sentence brought about when Adam disobeyed God. Adam chose to do the only thing that God told him not to do… he ate the forbidden fruit.
“Wherefore, as by one man’s sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Adam’s sin created a huge chasm between us and God… one that we can never bridge by our own efforts. Only God’s love can bridge the gap caused by our sin. Only our faith allows us to cross that bridge.
God’s love for His creation is very deep. He was willing to do much more than get out of bed at 2 AM to take care of the need of a crying child. Our need for salvation caused Him to step down from the Heavenly Realm and enter the lost and fallen world that we call home. Because we see things through human understanding, we continually sin as if it’s natural. Although we are numb because of our continuous sin, our soul cries out for help. God answered the cry of our soul by becoming human and giving us the only path to eternal life.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Jesus Christ is God. He’s the second Person of the Trinity. His love for us is so deep that He chose to take the form of a man in order to save us from our sin. That’s an example of love and humility that we need to follow.
In the beginning God created Adam, then God took Eve out of him. When Adam sinned, we can only imagine how God felt. Any human parent of a disobedient child knows the hurt caused by rebellion, but God’s sorrow was greater. God’s ultimate creation had turned against Him, and all of creation was affected by Adam’s sin. Adam knew the consequences of his choice, but chose sin anyway.
Don’t feel too superior… we choose sin on a daily basis. That sin separates us from our Creator. God is perfect in every way, and we humans can never live up to His perfection. What we think of as normal in life is too often the very thing that separates us from God. Is a white lie harmless? No, it isn’t. A lie is a lie no matter what color it is. How about lust, anger, drunkenness, or sorcery? Anything that is wrong in God’s opinion separates us from Him. “Not fair,” you cry, but you’re wrong. It is fair.
God inspired the Holy Scriptures so we have a standard by which we can judge our own actions. We know when we sin. Just like Adam knew that he wasn’t to eat the forbidden fruit, we know that “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me” means to live our life in accordance with God’s will; yet we place the god of pride, the god of sexual lust, the god of dishonesty, and many other false gods ahead of God Almighty. Still, He loves us enough to die for us.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Jesus walked this earth for over thirty years. He became human, but He never sinned. He healed the sick, the blind, and the lame. He forgave sin and showed deep love to the people He met. That wasn’t the reason He entered this world. He gave us the example of how we are to live, but His purpose was to shed His own perfect blood to purchase our salvation. To do that, He had to take my sin and your sin upon Himself.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
At that moment, God the Father could not look upon His Son. For the first time in all eternity, Jesus Christ felt the terrible emptiness and separation that sin causes.
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
I’m so sorry, my Lord. It was my sin that held you there. Oh Lord, thank You for Your deep and unchanging love for me.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
Is anyone old enough to remember Flip Wilson? In one of his comedy routines he said, “The devil made me do it.” Yes, the devil is behind all the evil in this world and tempts us to sin. Even though Satan puts temptation in the way, he can’t make us choose to indulge in sin. We all have the choice whether to sin or not. Maybe you’re tempted to give in to the lusts of the flesh or lash out in anger to someone who just happens to be in the way of your bad attitude. You don’t have to sin. You can choose to say “Get behind me, Satan” and put God first. If you listen carefully, when you give in to sin, you can hear your voice mocking Him and taking His sacrifice for granted.
Even when we fail, God loves us. Jesus took all of your sin upon Himself when He went to the cross… sins past, present, and future.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:13-15).
When you humbled yourself before the Lord and admitted your need for Him, all your sin was forgiven. Keep looking at the cross. Today it’s empty because Jesus conquered death. He suffered pain and separation while He hung there paying the price of our sin, but He stayed there until the task was finished.
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
Do you mock Him by continuing to sin? Do you take the suffering He went through lightly? The nails didn’t hold Him there. He was held there by His deep love for you and for me.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.
All good things come from God. You may accomplish a lot in life… a great job, a wonderful family, a big house, and fancy cars, but all of that is nothing. The house will one day be gone, and the car will be sitting in a junk yard. Don’t boast and brag about these temporary things that you feel you’ve accomplished by your own merit. Boast in Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
If you love Jesus, you will give Him all the glory, honor, and praise for anything you might achieve in this life. We can thank Him for what He did by honoring Him through our life. Boast of what Jesus did and the eternal life that faith in Him brings. Boast of His deep love.
The song in this commentary is titled “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” words and music by Stuart Townsend. The words bring tears to my eyes as I am reminded of how many times I’ve failed to live my life to honor Christ. When I realize that in spite of my failures He still loves me, I am thankful. How can I boast in my own accomplishments? Eternity is all that matters, and Jesus paid the price for my ransom. Thank You, Jesus, for Your deep love for me.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.
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