June 19, 2023 14 min read
How often do you acknowledge the second person of the Trinity in prayer? God the Son Jesus Christ became the propitiation for our sins. He redeemed us with His own blood and He is worthy of our entire selves.
Throughout the Old and New Testament there are so many passages that point to the love of Jesus. Let’s make it our goal to find His love in every chapter of the Bible.
“The Gospel is the only story where the hero dies for the villain.”
“Jesus Christ knows the worst about you. Nonetheless, He is the one who loves you most.” A.W. Tozer
“Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” C.S. Lewis
“By the cross we know the gravity of sin and the greatness of God’s love toward us.” John Chrysostom
“I always thought love was shaped like a heart, but it’s actually shaped like a cross.”
When God pierced Adam’s side that revealed the love of Christ. There was no suitable helper for Adam, so God pierced Adam’s side to make him a bride. Notice that Adam’s bride came from himself. His bride was more precious to him because she came from his own flesh. The second Adam Jesus Christ also had His side pierced. Don’t you see the correlation? The bride of Christ (the Church) came from His blood pierced side. He took upon a brutal beating that we will never be able to fathom. His side was pierced because of how much He loves you.
1. Genesis 2:20-23 “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
2. John 19:34 “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.”
In the Garden Adam and Eve felt no shame while they were both naked. Sin had not yet entered into the world. However, that would soon change as they would disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. Their state of innocence was tarnished. They were now both fallen, naked, and filled with guilt and shame.
Before they were fallen they needed no covering, but now they did. By His grace, God provided the covering needed to remove their shame. Notice what the second Adam does. He took upon the guilt and shame that Adam felt in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus bore His shame of nakedness by hanging naked on the cross. Once again, do you see the correlation? Jesus took upon all the guilt and shame that we have been facing. Have you ever felt rejected? He felt rejected. Have you ever felt misunderstood? He felt misunderstood. Jesus understands what you are going through because He went through the same things because of His love for you. The Lord touches the deep things in our life. Jesus suffered your suffering.
3. Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
4. Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
5. Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
The story of Barabbas is an amazing story of the love of Christ. On the left you have Barabbas who was a well-known criminal. He was a bad guy. He was one of those guys that you shouldn’t hang around because they are bad news. On the right you have Jesus. Pontius Pilate found that Jesus was not guilty of any crime. He did nothing wrong. The crowd had the choice of setting one of the men free. Shockingly, the crowd shouted for Barabbas to be set free.
Barabbas was later set free and Jesus would later be crucified. This story is flipped! Barabbas was treated the way Jesus should have been treated and Jesus was treated the way Barabbas should have been treated. Don’t you understand? You and I are Barrabas.
Though Jesus was innocent He bore the sin you and I rightly deserve. We deserve condemnation, but because of Christ we are free of condemnation and God’s wrath. He took upon the wrath of God, so we wouldn’t have to. For some reason we try to go back to those chains. However, on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” His love paid for it all! Don’t run back to those chains of guilt and shame. He has set you free and there is nothing you can do to repay Him! By His blood wicked people can be set free. In this story we see a great example of grace. Love is intentional. Christ proved His love for us by taking our place on the cross.
6. Luke 23:15-22 “Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him.” But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas” a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.”
7. Luke 23:25 “He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.”
8. 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”
9. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
10. Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and was raised to life for our justification.”
11. 1 Peter 1:18-19 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
12. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
We learn in Deuteronomy that those who hang on a tree are accursed by God. Disobedience at any point to the law of God results in a curse. The one who bore that curse had to himself be perfectly obedient. The one who was to become guilty, had to be innocent. The only person that can remove the law is the Creator of the law. To remove the curse, the one who bore the curse would have to be subject to the punishment of the curse. The punishment is hanging on a tree, which is the punishment that Christ suffered. Jesus who is God in flesh accepted the curse so that we would be free from the curse.
Christ paid our sin debt in full. Glory be to God! Hanging on a tree is seen throughout Scripture. When Jesus hung on a tree not only did He become a curse, but He also became an image of evil. When the wicked Absalom hung on an oak tree and is later pierced in the side with a spear, that is a foreshadowing of Christ and the cross.
There is something else that is remarkable about Absalom’s story. Though he was an evil man, he was loved by his father David. Jesus was also greatly loved by His Father. In Esther we see the disdain that Hamon had for Mordecai. He ended up building a gallows tree 50 cubits high that was intended for another person (Mordecai). Ironically, Hamon was later hung on a tree that was meant for someone else. Don’t you see Christ in this story? Jesus hung on a tree that was meant for us.
13. Deuteronomy 21:22-23 “If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.”
14. Galatians 3:13-14 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
15. Colossians 2:13-14 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
16. Matthew 20:28 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
17. Esther 7:9-10 “Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.”
The prophetical story of Hosea and Gomer reveals the love of God for His people even though they get sidetracked by other gods. How would you feel if God told you to marry the worst of the worst? That’s what He told Hosea to do. This is a picture of what Christ did for us. Christ went into the worst and most dangerous areas to find His bride. Christ went to a place where other men would not go to find His bride. Hosea’s bride was unfaithful to him.
Notice that God didn’t tell Hosea to divorce his bride. He said, “Go find her.” God told him to love a former prostitute who got married and went back into prostitution after she was given so much grace. Hosea went to a bad neighborhood filled with thugs and evil people to search for his bride.
He finally found his bride, but he was told that she would not be given to him without a price. Even though that Hosea was still married to her, she was now the property of someone else. He had to buy her for a price that was expensive for him. This is asinine! She’s already his wife! Hosea bought his bride who was not worthy of his love, his forgiveness, his favor, such a great price.
Hosea loved Gomer, but for some reason it was hard for Gomer to accept his love. In the same way, for some reason it’s hard for us to accept Christ’s love. We think His love is conditional and we can’t comprehend how He would love us in our mess. Just like Gomer we start looking for love in all the wrong places. Instead of our worth coming from Christ we start to find our worth and identity in the things of the world. Instead, this leaves us broken. In the midst of our brokenness and our unfaithfulness God never stopped loving us. Instead, He bought us.
There is so much love in the story of Hosea and Gomer. God is already our Creator. He made us, so He already owns us. This is why it is even more astounding that He paid the hefty price for people that He already owns. We have been rescued by the blood of Christ. We were bound to shackles but Christ has set us free.
Imagine what Gomer is thinking in her mind as she looks at her husband as he is buying her while she is in a situation that she caused. Due to her own unfaithfulness she was shackled, in bondage, filthy, despised, etc. It would be hard for a man to love a woman who put him through so much grief. Gomer looked at her husband thinking, “why does he love me so much?” Gomer was a mess just like we’re a mess, but our Hosea loved us and took upon our shame on the cross. This beautiful story of love is what compels us to do God’s will.
18. Hosea 1:2-3 “When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD. So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.”
19. Hosea 3:1-4 “The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” 4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods.
20. 1 Corinthians 7:23 “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.”
The Bible makes it clear that we can’t get right with God by our own merit. We can’t add onto the finished work of Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone. However, when we see how far we were from God and the great price that was paid for us, that compels us to please Him. His love for us is why we seek to do His will.
When you have been so captivated by the love of God for you in Christ Jesus you want to be obedient to Him. You are not going to want to take advantage of His love. Our hearts have been transformed and overwhelmed with so much grace, so much love, and such freedom from Christ that we willingly offer ourselves to God.
We have been regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit and we have new desires and affections for Jesus. We want to please Him and we want to honor Him with our lives. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a struggle. That doesn’t mean that we won’t be captivated by other things at times. However, we will see evidence of God working in our life growing us in the things of God.
21. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
22. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
23. Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
Have you ever been rejected before? I’ve been rejected by people. Getting rejected feels awful. It hurts. It leads to tears and anguish! The rejection that we face in this life is only a small picture of the rejection that Christ faced. Imagine being rejected by the world. Now imagine being rejected by the world that you created.
Not only was Christ rejected by the world, He felt rejected by His own Father. Jesus knows how you feel. We have a High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses. He understands how you feel. Whatever issues that you may be facing Christ has experienced a similar situation to a greater degree. Bring your situation to Him. He understands and He knows how to help you or better yet He knows how to love you in your situation.
24. Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
It’s hard to experience the love of Christ when we are preoccupied with other things. Think about it! How can you experience the love of anyone when you neglect them? It’s not that their love for you has changed, it’s that you have been too busy with other things to notice. Our eyes are easily mesmerized by things that are not inherently bad. However, they take our heart away from Christ and it becomes harder to feel His presence and experience His love.
There are so many special things that He wants to tell us, but are we willing to quiet ourselves to listen to Him? He wants to help you to realize His love for you. He wants to lead you in prayer. He wants you to be involved in what He is doing around you, so you can experience His love in that way, but unfortunately we come to Him with our own agenda.
I believe that most Christians are missing out on all that God wants to give us in prayer. We are so busy trying to give Him our petitions that we miss out on Him, Who He is, His love, His care, and the great price that was paid for us. If you want to experience the love of Christ in a deeper way there are things that are going to have to go.
You have to cut down on the TV, YouTube, Video games, etc. Instead, get in the Bible and look for Christ. Allow Him to speak to you in the Word. Daily Bible study will propel your prayer life. Do you grasp the reason for your worship? It’s so easy to say yes, but truly think about this! Do you focus on the Object of your worship? When we truly see Christ for who He truly is our adoration towards Him will be rejuvenated. Pray that you have a greater realization of Christ’s love for you.
25. Ephesians 3:14-19 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
I loved writing this article, but one thing I realized is that I still struggle to understand Christ’s love for me. His love for me is far beyond my comprehension. It’s a struggle for me that leaves me in tears at times. The remarkable thing is that I know that even in my struggle He loves me. He doesn’t get tired of me and He doesn’t give up on me. He can’t stop loving me. It’s who He is!
Ironically, my struggle to understand the love of Christ is what makes me love Him more. It causes me to cling on to Him for dear life! I noticed that my love for Christ has grown throughout the years. If my love for Him is growing, then how much more is His infinite love for me! Let’s pray that we grow in understanding different aspects of His love. God reveals His love for us daily. However, rejoice in the fact that one day we will experience the full expression of God’s love manifested in Heaven.
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