One of the most well-known scriptures in the Bible is John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Those of us who grew up in church were taught to memorize it as children. It is the summary of the Gospel (the ‘Good News’) in one verse. The plan of salvation. The ultimate promise. The great Hope. The definitive truth of who God is and His sole desire for us is that ‘none would perish, but all should come to repentance’, (2 Peter 3:9b). The thought is that the fall was not the end, not a hopeless finish. The true finished work was done at the cross. A Love like no other.
This is a love that goes far beyond fuzzy feelings and butterflies. This love is so much more than the greatest “Mama” hug or Grandma’s greatest comfort food. This love may not eliminate pain, but has purpose, promising in His Word that if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. It is a love that is organic, alive, full and complete. This love heals wounds both visible and invisible. It is a love that covers and seals, going into your past, while changing the trajectory of your future. This love will bring light to your darkest places. It is a love having spoken in your silence and yet speaks in the midst of the noise of life.
How amazing it is that God’s love for us, individually and collectively, stepped out of eternity and into time. Manifesting Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus the Christ, He walked the walk of humanity, experiencing what it meant to be a human. He lived and loved. Laughed and cried. Suffered hunger, thirst, rejection, abandonment, and betrayal. Too, He even questioned His call, His purpose, and the horrendous feeling that God had ultimately left Him. This love endured the most heinous, humiliating, torturous, and painful death imaginable at the time, simply because it was the only way to redeem mankind and create a path back to the Father.
In these trying and uncertain times, let us contemplate and celebrate the Greatest Love of all. The expression of love that made whole what was broken and continues to do so today is the Greatest Gift and promise of a real Jesus. One who really lived, really died, really got up and is really coming back. His work was finished at the cross and is being completed in us. This is a love that transcends time, space, age, gender, race, or culture. This love dries the tears no one knows you’ve shed, loves the most unlovable, and holds on when giving up feels like the only option.
This is NO ORDINARY LOVE