[He] loved me and gave himself for me. — Galatians 2:20
I love the blessing God has given me in that I have two females in my house who love romances. More than once I have been persuaded to sit with them and watch a movie (usually something based on a Jane Austen novel, the favorite around here) about a young woman who struggles in a relationship with a man. At first, she thinks he is rude or cold or something unattractive like that. But, as the movie progresses, we see that he has been working — usually without her knowing it — on her behalf out of his deep love for her. When she comes to this realization she swoons, her heart melts and they end up marrying. The movie ends there and my women are pleased.
The idea that someone does something for us not just out of duty but out of love is something that is hard for any of us to resist. We know that God demonstrated his great love for us in sacrificing the most precious person to him for our sins. (Romans 5:7-8). But it wasn’t just God who showed an incredible love. Time and again the Bible points to the great love Jesus himself showed on our behalf. It certainly wasn’t because we deserved his love. After all, we are the ones who have rebelled against God. We are ones with a heart of stone, doomed to a just punishment for our sin. (Romans 3:23) But the Bible tells us that Jesus “loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galations 2:20), that he “loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) and that he “(laid) down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
Is that you, or me? Are we his friend, the church?
And I hear the answer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). “To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). “Whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). (from Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die by John Piper, p. 31)
The story is moving along. We are being wooed by the perfect suitor. If we look, we can see it unfolding before us. Will you let Jesus melt your heart with his love? Jesus died because of his great love for you and prayed, near the end of his life: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me.” (John 17:24) There is a glorious future with Jesus for those who see and believe.