“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13
The love of God is immeasurable, uninhibited, overshadowing, all pervading, and everlasting. It’s swifter than the feet of repentance (cf. Luke 15:20). Broader than the measure of a man’s mind. Can never be extinguished. Thinks nothing of trouble, feels no burdens, and is never soured by injustice. It’s never blind, never deaf, and never silent. It’s wider, longer, higher, and deeper than anything anyone can imagine. Even when we think we’re beginning to understand it, we discover it “surpasses knowledge” (cf. Ephesians 3:19).
Billy Graham says, “Orators whose words flow like a rippling brook have been unable to describe it. Artists whose brushes spread untold beauty have been unable to portray it on canvas. Writers whose words drip from their pens like dewdrops from a rose petal have been unable to write” effectively about it.
That’s not surprising. Because we’re right in the middle of it, because it’s washing around us, over us, and under us – because it’s enveloping us, we struggle to see it for what it really is. Even so, even with our limited perspective, the love of God is “like the Amazon River flowing down to water a single daisy” F. B. Meyer. It’s like the wind. It comes from every direction. It’s intimacy set on fire. A living thing. A wonder-worker. Never obsolete. It’s what “makes the world go round” Lewis Carroll. In fact, it puts a new face on a weary world and as it does it enters everywhere – creeping where it isn’t wanted. For the love of God, regardless of what it encounters, can never die.
But then the love of God is more than an accessory, more than an addendum, more than garnish, more than an increment.
There’s no containing the love of God. It permeates creation. Seeps into every crack. Climbs the highest mountain. Reaches into the depths of the sea. Colonizes the atmosphere. Invades the cosmos. Makes life possible.
If you listen, you can’t fail to hear it. It whispers and it shouts. No one can shut it out. Men may rail against it, try to explain it away, seek to distort it, drift away from it, turn their backs on it, be contemptuous of it, neglect it, even run from it, but every effort to silence it is futile. For God’s love isn’t a feeling to be forgotten. It isn’t a memory that can be erased. And it isn’t an experience you can explain away. It’s a person. Not just any person. It’s an exclusive Person – the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the epitome, the essence, the full extent, the ad infinitum of God’s love. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What an expression of love! Exemplified on the Cross of Calvary is the love of God for all mankind. Suspended from a wooden beam Christ gave His life so that we might know fullness of life. This is the love of God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” 2 Corinthians 5:21. This is love that doesn’t hold back. This is unfathomable love. This is incalculable, unbounded, exhaustless love. For the condemnation that was rightly ours was taken by Him. The judgement of God for our sin, the shame, the suffering we deserved, the death penalty that hung over us, it was all taken by Him. No wonder John 15:13 exclaims, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
That’s a love worth knowing. Isn’t it? If you haven’t done so before, believe in Him today. Turn to Him now. Repent of your sins. Say “Yes” to salvation in Jesus Christ. For when you do, when by faith you cast yourself on Him, then you’ll know the love that surpasses all love, the love that never disappoints, the love that will never let you down . . . the love of God.