I have spent a lifetime as a Bible student, teacher, and lay minister/counselor; and yet, I still cannot even begin to comprehend the love God has for His children.
I know Scripture says, ďAnd we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.Ē (1 John 4:16 NKJV) So to start with we know God is the very definition of the word love. But, as love is subjective, what does that mean exactly?
There are, of course, many verses of Scripture that use the words God and love in the same sentence or thought; seventy five to be exact. As important they are, they still do not even come close to explaining the depth of the love God has for us. For that we have to consider the Crucifixion.
Christians focus on the end result of Christís suffering, and for good reasonÖ.it is our entrance to heaven. In short, Jesus died in this world so we donít have to die in the next. To understand the relationship between the Crucifixion and Godís love, we must explore the hideous reality of what our Savior endured.
Crucifixion is a harsh, painful form of punishment leading to death. That by and of itself would be bad enough, but Christ was scourged before He was crucified. He was beaten to the point where we have to wonder how He ever made it to Calvary without dying prior. His flesh was torn from Him. Bones were exposed.
And when He was crucified He was made to suffer more than a common criminal, because, as the Bible foretold, His legs were not broken to hasten death (as was the practice). So our Lord was shown no mercy and died slowly.
The reality of the Crucifixion is too hard to understand, as we have nothing present-day with which to relate it. Its barbarity is beyond cruel. If you want to know what the practice entailed in stomach-turning detail, I recommend ďA Physician Testifies About the Crucifixion,Ē at: http://www.konnections.com/Kcundick/crucifix.html.
I suggest this, not to upset you, but to give a vital perspective which is often lost when we talk about Christís sacrifice. Sadly, we often take the Crucifixion for granted, and in doing so we diminish what it represents - Godís love for each of us.
If you are a loving, caring parent, you do everything you can to protect your children. We would give our lives for them without a secondís thought. It is in our nature as Godís followers to love everyone, especially those of our own household. Everything we do for our children is a living witness to the One we worship. And when our children are hurt we experience the pain they experience many times over. Such is the bond between parent and child.
One thing a true Christian will never do is allow anyone to hurt our children. We will always interject ourselves as our childís protector. And we donít care what the cost is to our own safety.
So I ask, hoping you have gone to the web page I suggested, would you allow your child to go through what Christ experienced - especially if, like God, you had the power to save him from the pain?
Would you allow your child to be crucified for the sins of others when he was blameless? Would you allow him to die for the very people beating him, spitting on him, calling him vile names while laughing at his pain, and nailing him to the Cross? Of course you wouldnít. Or maybe Iíd best speak solely for myself - the answer is no!
There is a unique component to this that is often overlooked; that being, we cannot comprehend what God does, for He is so much more than we can possibly understand. Itís like comparing man to a one cell amoeba, except a million times over. Our human arrogance gives us the mistaken belief that we can understand that which is the provenance of God, when we cannot. The death of Christ is an example.
The fact that God allowed His Son to be brutalized to pay for our sins is actually more than we can appreciate, so while I cannot truly understand what God and His Son did for us, I know they did, and perhaps thatís enough.
In an attempt to put matters in perspective, this is what I try and remember above all else. God allowed His Son to be treated as we deserve to be treated so we can be treated like His Son.
That, my friend, is a love beyond comprehension.
Edward Mrkvicka is an award winning Christian author, lay minister/counselor, and lifelong Bible student.
His newest book, ďThe Prayer Promise of Christ,Ē has been named Christian Book of the Year by Books & Authors.net.
His web site is located at: www.EdwardFMrkvickaJr.com