April 15, 2020
Love: The Reason for the Cross
What is in the death of the cross?
- The cross is the highest capital punishment of the time
- The most shameful, most humiliating, the worst form of execution designated for condemned criminals
- It is the cruelest death ever in human history
- On the cross, Jesus was beating, stabbed, mocked, stripped, crowned with thorns, treated like a criminal.
- As we read in Jon 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends
Because of LOVE Jesus went to the cross to die to achieve three outcomes:
- He defeated death for you, and I can live
- He delivered you and I from the power of this world
- He restored you and I back to God – Hallelujah!
- Love is the dominant characteristic of all God’s personal dealings with his creatures.
WHAT IS THE REALITY OF HIS LOVE FOR US?
- Jesus’ love for us is Deep. The scripture shows us ways through which the depth of Christ’s love to us is revealed:
- It costs Him his life. Spouses mostly give their time, gift or energy show their love for their partner. They never give their life!
- It is deep because we don’t deserve it. His death on the cross was not a return of a good a gesture. Rom. 5:8 says
- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Man’s love to man is always motivated by selfish interest – beauty, financial gain, personal favour, etc. BUT not Jesus!
- His love for you was underserving and unexplainable
- It is deep because it unconditional, total, perfect and complete. It is free. God does not place any condition or demand any price from man for His love. That love does not only adopt us into sonship but also converts us into His image 1 Jon.3:1-3
- Jesus love is universal
- Jon 3:16 – for God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believe in Him from any part of the …. Europe, South America, North America, Asia, Africa, Australia; will nor perish but have an eternal life.
- No geographical delineation, no racial discrimination (He loved the world)
- Jesus love is sacrificial
- There is no love where there is no giving. In Jesus’ case, He did not give a commodity, He gave His life! The ULTIMATE GIFT!! Rom 8:32
- The Levitical sacrifices could not deal permanently with our sins – Hebrews 10:4
- However, Jesus Christ on the cross dealt with our sins permanently with one sacrifice that was offered through genuine love
- And on the account of this great sacrifice God responded in Heb. 10:17 that: “Your sins and lawless behaviours, He will remember no more
WHAT SHOULD BE YOUR RESPONSE TO HIS LOVE?
- You respond to God’s love by loving Him in return.
Matt, 22:37, Mark. 12:30, Luke. 10:27 say “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength”
- This love must be complete and comprehensive. It comes ONLY by SELF CRUCIFIXION. Your flesh must be nailed to the cross. I like Paul’s response in Paul, in Gal 2:20
“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”. This is what is required.
- How can you live a crucified life?
- Through Obedience – You obey God not out of fear but out of love for Him. If your obedience is based on fear, you are behaving like a servant not a son. The way to obey God is by submitting to His Word
- You respond to God’s love by Loving your neighbour –
- In Jon. 13:33, Jesus said “A new commandment I give you “love one another; just as I have loved you”. Gal. 5:14 concludes that all the law is fulfilled in one word “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”. James 2:8 called this a ROYAL LAW and remarked that anyone keeping up to this is doing well.
- You can show love your neighbour in 3 major ways:
- Service – serve one another- help one another
- Support – your neighbour in need, reach out. Self isolation and social distancing does not prohibit – text message and phone call
- PAUL was in Jail (state isolation) – yet was writing to Timothy, Philemon, Titus. He also wrote to communities in Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica
- Sharing – Jesus said to the Rich Ruler in Luk 18:18-22 Don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, honour your parent…
- The man said – I have kept these from my youth, lacking nothing!
- Jesus said to him – one thing you still lack – distribute to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven
The love Jesus has for you sent Him to the cross. That love is deep, universal and unconditional. You also can reciprocate that love by daily living for Him through obedience and self crucifixion. It is also important to show love to your neighbours through service and sharing.