We have just celebrated the most significant event of the year for Christians, Easter. It is a time to quietly reflect on the love that brought our Saviour to this world … to sit at the foot of the cross and wonder! Wonder why He would do such a thing for me or you. As you know the English language has one word for love … love! We use it so often and in so many different ways it is easily diluted by repetition. For example, I love my wife, I love ice-cream, I love rugby. All of these statements are true but what I mean is obviously very different in each case. (It would be interesting to find out if the Welsh language is more helpful here!?) What I do know is that the language the New Testament was written in has a number of words to describe love, it talks about brotherly love, physical love and to quote Bill Hybels ‘a love of another kind’ what the Bible calls ‘agape’ love. Love without strings, love without expecting anything in return, love that keeps giving and giving and giving. It is this ‘love’ we celebrate at Easter. Let me share a verse I first memorised 40 years ago.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
I memorised it a long time ago but I am still mining the depths of this love to this very day! Lidie Edmunds sums it up beautifully in the old hymn:
‘My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed; I trust the ever-living One, his wounds for me shall plead. I need no other argument, I need no other plea, It is enough that Jesus died, and that he died for me.’
This love is personal! On a number of occasions I have encouraged people to place their name in the verse I quoted earlier … For God so loved …. Sue, Brian, George … go on try it! I believe with all my heart it is true! As PT Forsyth wrote.
‘God does not love us because Christ died for us; Christ died for us because God loves us.’
Staggering! Yet true. The challenge for you and me of course is what will we do with His love? I guess that’s the most important question anyone could ever ask us!