|God Loves You|
"Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13, NIV.
|Looking for the greatest love.|
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples shortly before he was arrested and crucified. He was fully aware of the coming events; betrayal by one of his own, desertion by his closest companions, false accusations by his community, torture, and death by idolatrous oppressors. Yet with full knowledge, he proceeds on to that fate and this statement explains why- love.
To say something is greater is to deem it above all else. When you bring "greater" into the thought you have made all others as lesser. This greater love is above all the others.
When Jesus expresses love it is in actions, and he demonstrates the greatest love by doing the greatest act, laying down his life for us, thus Jesus became the definition of that greatest love.
He died willingly to pay for our sins. This ultimate sacrifice leaves nothing out for there is nothing left to do. Mankind had a need for a savior, one who would deliver us from our sins because our sins needed to be paid for, and the only payment acceptable by the God Who Is All Holy is death and eternal punishment. Jesus paid this price for all sins.
Jesus "lay down" his life, it wasn't taken from him by force. He chose to lay it down and he had control over every aspect of his death. He had the choice of free will in the matter, and he chose to die because he chose to love.
To lay down your life for a loved one is one thing, and many over history have died for their family, but to do so for a friend is something else. Who Jesus died for makes his sacrificial death more astounding because he died for sinners who were his enemies. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.
Jesus called his followers friends even though he knew they would fail him miserably in his hour of need. This greatest of all love is a forgiving love, an understanding love, a compassionate love, and most importantly a sacrificing love. It is not a distant love; Jesus offers this love to any who is willing to receive it. He said, "Come unto me ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.
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|Beyond These Dark Lands Are Edges Of Joy|
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