“What a different relationship begins to develop when you realize that God is head-over-heels in love with you. God is simply giddy about you. He just can’t help loving you. And he loves you deeply, recklessly and extravagantly-just as you are. God knows you are a sinner, but your sins do not surprise him. Nor do they reduce in the slightest his love for you.” David Benner, author
If you are a Jesus follower then you know that today is Good Friday, a day set aside in the Christian rhythm of life when we stop and remember that humanity betrayed Jesus, condemned him to death like a common criminal and killed him in the most inhumane way…crucifying Him on a cross. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. They hated him in fact…thinking that they were doing the world and God a favor by extinguishing His life.
In the midst of Jesus’ suffering and pain, He did not condemn the world. He didn’t shout insults or threaten destruction.
If Jesus had wished to destroy humanity for their sinfulness the hour had come…it could not have been more ripe with reason…he would have been justified and capable of ending it all with a single word. But Jesus’s unfailing love stood firm so that humanity would be saved from the wrath that it deserved.
Jesus surrendered to love, no matter where it led…even to the cross.
He was able to do this because love isn’t just an emotion as it is often for you and me…love is who Jesus is…it’s His character…and it’s at the core of all creation.
When I reflect on this Good Friday I tend to feel bad…guilty…ashamed. I am all too aware of the bitter roots of sin that remain intact underneath the surface of my own heart…things that I keep hidden…things I deny…things I’m not even aware of because I am blind.
But then I come back to Benner’s statement…”God knows you are a sinner, but your sins do not surprise him. Nor do they reduce in the slightest his love for you.”
As we think about His great sacrifice and all the suffering, we must remember that love compelled Him. Love compelled him then and love compels him now as he continuously reaches out and pursues us. He just can’t stop loving us because God is love.
I pray today that you and I surrender to love…a love that is unexplainable, yet knowable…a love that is deep…a love that is fierce…a love that is patient…a love that is unconditional…a love that never gives up…a love that endures forever.
Surrender to the love of Jesus