Behold the love of God!

Behold the love of God!

The Bible tells us God is love. Issuing from His perfections, then, God’s law is love.

Jesus summed up His Father’s law, declaring the two greatest commandments to be, first, that we love God with all our heart and soul and mind; and second, that we love our neighbor as ourself. We are to love because God is love.

This is God’s law.  From inspiration to obedience, it’s all love.

Love for God is having no other gods before Him. Love for God is honoring our father and mother—honoring all those authorities He has placed over us, starting from the womb.

Love for our neighbor is not killing him. Love for our neighbor is not stealing from him or lying to him.

We see then that God’s law is love. What about His Gospel?

Start with what motivated the Only Begotten Son’s crucifixion:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. -John 3:16-17

Oh, the love of the Father! He sent His beloved Son to the womb of a woman, to a life of poverty and humiliation and death on the Cross from His love. God sent His Son to the cross because he loved sinful man. He sent His Son to the cross with the purpose of saving sinful man.

And what of His Son? What caused Him to take up His cross?

Preparing for His crucifixion, our Lord was in the Garden of Gethsemane, pleading with His Father:

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. -Luke 22:41-43

The Father did not take this cup from His Son. He heard His agony and felt it as only His father could, but from love His Son submitted to His Father, and from love His Father sent Him on to finish His work He had begun.

John is the Apostle of Love, and what does John tell us love is?

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. -1John 5:2-3

This is true of God’s adopted sons, but first it is true of His Only Begotten Son. What was Jesus’ purpose in life?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. -John 5:19

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. -John 4:34

I must work the works of him that sent me. -John 9:4

Did Jesus love His Father? Did His Father love Him?

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. -Luke 3:22

Thou art My Beloved Son. In Thee I am well pleased. As He lived to please His Father, so He died to please His Father. It was His love for His Father that there on the cross the Only Begotten Son fulfilled His Father’s love for the world.

This too about the Father’s love for His Son and the Son’s love for His Father:

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:27-30

Here is God’s precious Son crying out to us to come to Him. He promises rest from our labors. Rest from our heavy hearts. Rest for our sinful souls.

He promises His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

See the love of the Father and Son for us!

Who would resist Them? And if so, why?

Never mind. You who refuse to listen to God’s Son, and instead crucify Him and break His perfect law of love, listen to this story the Son told just before He left this earth to return to His father:

Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce.

The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third.

Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them.

But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.”

But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.” They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers? -Matthew 21:33-40

As precious as the love of the Father for the Son has been across eternity and still is this very day, what will the Father do to those vine-growers?

What a terrible end they will have, every last one of them! They refused to give the Father what they owed Him, Rather, they killed His Son so they would own the father’s vineyard themselves.

This is easy to see and acknowledge in our sinful world. Many books are written and movies made on the theme of the father whose enemies attacked him by killing his son. The conclusion of these plots is always the same. It is that father’s terrible revenge.

But His revenge is proportional to what?

It is proportional to His father’s love for His Son.

From beginning to end, it’s all about love. Jesus was of the Father’s love begotten. Jesus fulfilled His Father’s love by going to His cross. Jesus is now seated at His Father’s right hand where He ever lives to make intercession for those He bought with His Own precious blood. One Day Soon, this Same Beloved Son will return, but this time not in humility, but the power and glory and might that has always been His.

And on that Day, we will see for ourselves how highly God has exalted Him in reward and honor of His obedience to death, even death on a cross.

That day will be glory for the Son and all those stewards of His vineyard who have paid Him proper tribute by coming to Him and taking on His yoke.

As for those who refused, the Father will deal with them. He will have His just revenge and it will be in proportion to His love for His Son Whom they rejected, mocked, scorned, and crucified—and continue to crucify again and again and again, right to this very day.

This will be the verdict pronounced over them by the Father: that His Beloved Son pleaded with them, but they would have none of it. Jesus Himself testified:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!

Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!” -Luke 13:34-35

Be wise. Today while it is still daylight, come to Jesus! He will receive you. From the Father’s love He calls out to you still, “Come to me!” It is not too late to acknowledge and repent of your sin, and turn to Him.

He will never cast you out.


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About The Author

7

Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church since 1996, Tim and Mary Lee have five children and lots of grandchildren. Tim's books include "Daddy Tried," The Grace of Shame," "Church Reformed," "Elders Reformed," and a coming book on marriage. Tim spent ten years in the PC(USA) and twenty in the PCA. He's now a member of Evangel Presbytery.

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