Plain as it can be, there is nothing more important in life for the Christian to realize and walk in than the Love of God. Both of the two great commandments are all about Love.
Sounds so basic, doesn’t it. Except, too many Christians don’t realize it and it becomes a distant concept. Our revelation of it can be limited and it’s not in our experience near where it should be.
I am not trying to make anyone feel bad. I am merely trying to awaken us from at least occasional slumber. Me first, if you will, because I’m the one talking about it and I need to bathe in God’s Love afresh like any of us.
Of all the attributes of God revealed in the Word of God, there are only two things the Bible says God Is (as opposed to God possesses). One of them is God is Light (I John 1:5). The other is God is Love (I John 4:8,16). The Apostle John (a/k/a the Apostle of Love) speaks of the Love of God more than any other writer (respecting that Pauline’s revelation had some phenomenal things to say about God’s Love). The thrust of ‘God is Love’ is simply and profoundly, that He just doesn’t have it. He is it. He embodies it. Every single thing about Him is Love.
Therefore, we should be emanating Love. Because we are made in His image and likeness. In other words, just like Him. “As He is, so are we in this world.” (I John 4:17)
Obviously, a great deal can be shared about the Love of God. What I want to share in this writing is a picture of the Son of Man in action, in a period spanning only two days, here on this earth, when He was operating as a Man, specifically, a Man with God in Him. Jesus is our role model, bar none. And what emanated out of Him, in the most significant and trying times, was Love. If He could do it, we can do it.
Please note: as I have shared in other writings, Jesus walked in authority at all times and He only said and did what the Father was saying and doing. You cannot walk in God’s Love, unless you are walking in the authority that God gave you. You have to know who you are in Christ, by knowing who He is. That is the only way one can stay above the circumstances.
So come with me to Gethsemane and Calvary. This was merely a two day period, both Gethsemane and Jesus crucifixion. Capital punishment/execution was carried out quickly under Roman law.
You and I know the agony that Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew this was the time that He had to carry out what no one else was able to do, for the sins of the whole human race. I do hold that the greatest part of Christ’s agony at Gethsemane was that He knew that He had to be completely separated from His Father, even for a brief time. All of this that was happening was so extreme, that the Bible tells us Jesus sweat blood. That is a condition medically called hematidrosis, where blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, under extreme emotional stress.
So Jesus is in and coming out of this extreme condition, when Judas shows up with his bad band of men. And not far into the initial exchange, one of bad guy’s ear is lopped off by sword. What does Jesus do? What does Love Himself do? He heals and restores the man’s ear (Luke 22:50-51). Who does something like that? And who does it under what He was feeling and facing? The answer is Love does that. Someone who is in control of His circumstances and Love comes out. Can you even imagine what that guy with the cut off ear likely felt?
The following day is all about Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. The Jesus I am talking about here is someone who was whipped 39 times with a whip of leather and metal pieces on several of the ends. This is the Jesus who was being mocked, punched in the face, having his facial hair torn out, smitten with sticks, having a crown of large thorns thrust hard down on His head. The Bible says He was so pulverized, that He was unrecognizable. Then, after that, nailed to a tree, with large spikes, through His hands and feet.
Does Love Himself remain in control of His circumstances and feelings? YES! Does Love Himself emanate Love, in a myriad of ways, as He hung on that tree, innocent of all, in excruciating pain, and still wanting not to experience His Father having to turn His back on His Son? YES, our Jesus did that very thing. For you and for me.
Jesus is hanging on the Cross. Do I need to describe the physical condition He is in? And in John 19, we read that Love Himself took the time, to ensure that John would take great care of His mother following His death. He was looking out for someone else, and not Himself. That’s Love in action.
And if circumstances were not screaming to get the better of Him (but He was walking in authority and Love), what else do we see?
We see Love Himself declaring that those who were grossly mistreating Him and putting Him to death be forgiven (Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do ::: Luke 23:34). Can you and I do that? Can we do it under the circumstances Jesus was experiencing?
Then there’s Luke 23:39-43. The two thieves. And there goes Love again, taking the time, while suffering as He was, to love that one thief and assure him of his imminent salvation. Wow!
Is anyone breaking down in tears just yet, like I am? How do you do this, Jesus?
Finally, in what I see as the utter trust and love between the Father and the Son, Jesus commits His Spirit (Luke 23:46) as He enters His moment of death and as He goes off to conduct further business (like take the authority back, that God gave Adam and all mankind, and that Adam had turned over to Satan in Eden. The Second Adam is finishing the work the first one started. And at the soon Resurrection and Ascension, all of mankind is redeemed and back in the saddle – if, of course, one accepts what Jesus did).
More of Him. More of Love Himself. Yielded. The cry of the heart.
The wonderful Good News is that God’s Love is shed abroad in your heart and you are full of that Love. We now need to flesh it out.
What the world needs now, is Love, sweet Love. Love is a many splendored thing. All you need is Love. Even the world knows it through songs and wants it.
Everyone wants Love real bad.
Beloved, you and I are the carriers of it.