[A Discipleship Training Module 2 Assignment]
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down Myself, I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father”
L O V E .
This is the power that was on display and is at work on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This display of love by God the Father through the death of God the Son is the most powerful and life-changing truth that can ever be discovered in our known world.
When God created the world, LOVE was His good and highest purpose. When God formed man [and on that account, me], LOVE was His purest intention and a love-relationship was His deepest and greatest desire. He made us so that He can pour out His love to us and so that He can be our Abba Father and we can be His sons and daughters.
Is there any proof to this love? Certainly yes. Free will is an evidence of this love. When He planted that tree of the knowledge of good and evil in that beautiful garden of Eden, God stated that “I love you enough to give you the free choice of loving Me back”. There can be no love without choice.
The sad part is, that it is this same gift of love, this gift of choice, that drew us away from Him Who loves us. With a subtle, deceptive whisper from the devil, man [and on that account, I] chose to disobey the Father’s greatest command, which is to love Him.
It is this same sin of rebellion, of pride, of disobedience, of impurity, that haunted mankind throughout its history. It is sin that penalized us [and on that account, me] with the curse of eternal death. It is the power of sin that enslaved us. It is the presence of sin that separated us from the presence of the Father who loves us. It is sin that hid from our eyes the perfect love of our Abba Father. It is sin that killed the love-relationship the Father has purposed to establish with us.
The truth is, I once lived in this dead, dark, blinded, enslaving, impure, cursed, rebelling, and broken state. I once lived in enmity with my Creator. I once lived in constant defiance of my Lover. The ultimate Standard of good would judge me guilty and worthy of grave punishment, yes, to the point of eternal death.
It looked hopeless.
But it was not.
The same Holy Judge, with whom we are eternally guilty, pursued our [and on that account, my] redemption and salvation. In His divine providence and mercy, He provided a way for us to find Love [Him] again.
How did He do it? He made Himself of no reputation, took the form of a bondservant, and came in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Yes, in submission to the Father, the Light came down to darkness, lived a pure life, and offered Himself as a substitute for us on the cross. It was supposed to be me on that cross, but everything was charged on His [Jesus] account. He chose to display His love.
He was punished so that I can be FORGIVEN. He was physically wounded so that I can be HEALED. He was made sin so that we can be MADE RIGHTEOUS. He tasted our death so that we can share in His ETERNAL LIFE. He took our poverty so that we can share with His ABUNDANCE. He was rejected by God the Father so that we can have ACCEPTANCE. He became accursed, so that we can be BLESSED.
The cross is an exchange point where the Father God says, “In My eternal love for you, here I Am [the Beloved Son] in exchange for you My son.”
That says it all.
The power of the cross for me is the power of the Father’s love displayed. In the past, many people looked at me externally and praised my external goodness, but they did not know the real story, or I, at least, was good at hiding it. My life, in its maze of secrets and hypocrisy, used to be no life at all. I once was dead. I once was filthy, distasteful, arrogant, prideful, lustful, angry, self-righteous, suicidal, men-pleasing, fearful, bitter, rebellious, unbelieving, deceitful, idolatrous, impure, and cursed, but thank God for the power of the cross. Thank God for the power of love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
There are no words to express my thankfulness to the cross of Christ.
When I truly learned who Jesus is, not just heard what others said about Him, I was drawn to His love and forgiveness and grace and power. And when I encountered Him, there was no way I would reject that love. I would confess over and over and over again that Jesus is my Savior and my Lord. I am fully convinced that His death on the cross and His resurrection meant that I can now truly live the life that the Father has originally purposed with me, a love-relationship with Him.
I am His, and He is mine.
The truth is, had Jesus not die on the cross, there would be no me now, “literally”. But thank God for His display of love on the cross that now, I am fully alive. Jesus paid it all and now I can live.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Jesus has been changing me and is continuously changing me. His love is transforming me not just externally but internally. He is breathing life in my spirit daily — a life in the light, a life free from the bondage of sin, a life pure and holy, a life blessed, a life submitted, and a life whole. Yes, the Holy Spirit, my life-Giver, my Advocate, my Sanctifier, and my Intercessor, lives in me now and is working wonders in all aspect of my life. Ultimately, I look forward to the day when my life is a full imitation of the life of my Lover, Savior, and Master, Jesus.
The power of the cross is LOVE in Jesus Christ!
Dear friend, do you seek for love, for change, for hope, for forgiveness, for freedom, for peace, for life? How long have you been searching? How many times have you failed? Beloved, let me encourage you to do only one thing: know Jesus, not for the religion that people market Him for, but for the Divine Person that He is. Know Him [how He lived, what He said, how He loved] and it will always point you to the cross. It is at the cross where you will find the Father’s love, and in His love you will be satisfied.
Here is a love song from Abba for you His son and daughter.
[March 10, 2017]