God’s love to us in Christ–the most beautiful manifestation of love that can exist. Period.
Unfortunately for us, we often gladly settle for cheap imitations of love that the world shows us.
Too bad that’s as far as some people get. But that isn’t Christ’s love for us. . .
The perfect, God-ordained way in which God’s love is expressed to his creation is through the cross of Christ
Of all of the ways in which we think God could have demonstrated love, of all of the ways that we think he could have paved a way for salvation, this was his choice–a bloody and bruised guiltless savior on a cross. Betrayed by man, forsaken by his heavenly father, left hanging and left for dead. That all of the wrath that was due us and all of that anger God had toward us was wrapped up on Calvary.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
And this is even more crazy when we think about God’s view of us.
God hates sinners
I didn’t misspeak. (Even though during the second service I got my words mixed up and said “God loves sin” and it led to a great point of levity). The Scriptures are clear that God doesn’t just hate sin as some sort of amorphous blob that infects human souls, but that we are innocent. Rather, people sin. And God does not separate the sin from the sinner when judgment comes.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. Psalm 5:4-6
That’s what makes the cross all the more beautiful. God’s love and God’s wrath collide on Jesus, and we are the beneficiaries of that.
God’s love for us makes us free to love uniquely
I don’t want anyone in my church family to settle for the world’s cheap imitation of love. I want you to know God’s love for you in Christ and from that love go radically love people. Do it without credit. Do it without expecting anything in return. Do it if you get betrayed. Do it if you get hurt. Do it if you get laughed at. Do it if you die.
God’s love for us is a cross.