“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” – John 3:16
Could you imagine sending your only child to someone to be tortured and killed just so you could be with that person forever? Could you ever really love someone that passionately? God does. And He did that very thing. In order to show His love for us, someone had to die. In the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant, a spotless lamb or other animal was required as a sacrifice to atone for sins. Now, under the New Covenant, the covenant of love, Christ’s blood covers us and there is “no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:18b).
In light of the great price Jesus paid for us, what is to be our response? 1 John 4:19says: “We love because He first loved us.” And how do we love God? We die. Not in the physical sense, though some of us may be martyred for our faith. Not spiritually, for we “have crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). Death to ourselves is perhaps the most torturous death. Galatians 5:24 says that we who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. But have we, really?
We are not our own. We were bought with a price. When we come to Christ, we exchange our sin and death, our wills, and our plans for His righteousness and life, His will, and His plans. Is this too much for God to ask of us? When we think about what God has done for us in Christ, in order for us to spend eternity with Him, may we see the value of total death to self, and the joy that awaits us in truly loving Him.