God’s greatest expression of his love is that he freely gave his only begotten Son. The greatest expression of the Son’s love is that he freely gave his life for us. What can we ever do to repay for this ultimate sacrifice? We know that God is a Spirit and that God is love. Therefore when we receive the Spirit of God then we have his love. Actually, we become a conduit through which that Spirit can love his creation. For we are nothing, but God through us reaches out to the world. Before we were saved, God, through someone else, reached out to us. Before this God, through Christ, reached out to the world. That love through Christ was manifested in many ways and all for the purpose that we may inter into the kingdom of God with all its blessings and to gain everlasting life.
Many may think that because God wants us to be saved then we somehow deserve to be saved. That may not be a conscious thought, but by the actions of our life we manifest a certain apathy that truly reveals our inner heart. That is especially true in these last days when we, the Laodicean church, say, “…I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…”. (Rev 3 :17) And Jesus in turn says, we know not that we are “…wretched, and, miserable, and poor, and blind and naked…”, and we need to repent. Maybe we need to once again look back and see ourselves before salvation so we can appreciate what has been done for us.
Before salvation, we were going our own way, doing what we thought was right in our own eyes, not seeking a saviour nor felt we needed one. The Holy Ghost had to work with us so we could see our need. The Jesus of the scriptures was foreign to us even though we heard about him in church. His trials and tribulations in life were just stories but not something we related to. The word ignorance comes from the word ‘ignor’, which was what we did with the man Christ Jesus and simirally, ignorant of our own spiritual poverty. We were sinners, transgressors, filled with iniquities and pride, justified with our life in our own eyes, yet we had no happiness for deep joy.
Our joy, peace, health, forgiveness, our whole wellbeing, that we squandered away through sin, was purchased for us by Jesus’ sacrifice. The love, the blessings, we receive from God all came because this man, Jesus, loved his Father so much that he was willing to give his life for us. In so doing, he secured for us many blessings that we had no reason to receive. But, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. When men cursed in the name of God and Jesus we didn’t speak for him. When we grieved for things that happened in our lives we blamed God (for reaping what we ourself had sown). When we were blessed of God, we called it the false god “Luck’. We lifted ourself in the pride of life and felt sorry for ourself in times of dispare. We rejected what God had done for us as he carried us through times of sorrow and had no praise for him in our heart.
When God forsook his only begotten son whom he loved dearly, Jesus became sin for us on the cross. Jesus said, “My God, My
God, why hast thou forsaken me?”. (Mk 15:34) This man, who his whole life had known no sin or its guilt, was forsaken of his Father when he became sin for you and me. He willinigly became that sin and gave his life because in doing so he gave us an entrance into the kingdom of God.
Christ knew what was in the heart of man and yet he stil gave himself for our salvation. Though we had rejected him, he still saved us from our own condemnation. He knew God’s plan and that the only help for our sinful ways was through him. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the wold; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is codemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only beagotten Son of God.” (Jn 3:17,18)
Yet it was all in God’s wonderful plan to cause his Son to be beaten, wounded, humiliated and crucified and to be counted worthy of being numbered with all sinners in his death. When we finially identified our life with this man on the cross and made his death a sacrifice for our sins and when we were cleansed by his blood, then God saw that sacrifice and gave us our salvation. We had to see our need and receive that life. When we saw how he lived and died for us then we saw how we should live for others.
How can we ever doubt the love of God after understanding what he did for us through his Son? What more could he do? I have beacome convinced like Paul when he said, For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things prersent, nor things to come nor heights nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38,39)
One passage of scripture sums this up and has touched my heart for many years. It is well to read this passage of God’s word of his love to us:
“Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declarae his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isa 53)
What benefits we reap. There is no more perfect way to express our gratitude for his sacrifice than to let him live his life in through us. What higher calling could we have?