This week, we are reflecting on the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to save us from our sins, which we remember each year on Good Friday. To read the daily devos focused on Easter and the resurrection of Jesus based on Pastor Mark’s new book “Alive: 21 Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ”, click here. For a free PDF copy of Pastor Mark & Dr. Breshears’ Doctrine book, click here, and read chapter 8 about the cross.
1 John 4:8 – Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done. People talk a lot about their love and concern for others. Social media is flooded with hashtags and likes for good causes. Yet, little action ever happens.
As an elderly man, John was a bit sick of this trend to say a lot but do a little. After seeing Jesus not just say He loved us, but dying and rising to show He loved us, John wrote in 1 John 3:18, “let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Some of the time, love is what you say. Most of the time, love is what you do.
On the cross, Jesus revealed to us the love of God. The following verses state how the love of God is most clearly revealed at the cross of Jesus:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.
Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:9-10 – In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
At the cross we see that the love of God is not merely sentimental but also efficacious. When people speak of love, they usually mean an emotional love that feels affectionate but may not do anything to help the beloved. Thankfully, God does not merely feel loving toward us; His love actually compels Him to act on our behalf so that we can be changed by His love.
God has lovingly worked out a way for our friendship with Him to be reconciled. Through the cross, Jesus took away our sin so that we could be reconciled to God (Isa. 59:2; Hos. 5:6). Thankfully, God not only graciously takes away our sin, but mercifully extends himself to us, knowing that we desperately need Him (1 Tim. 1:15-16; Titus 3:4-5).
The cross is something done by you. You murdered God incarnate. The cross is something done for you. God loves you and died to forgive you.
Through the cross and empty tomb of Jesus Christ, there are at least nine ways that God has loved you by Jesus taking your place and putting you in His place.
- Jesus died so you can live!
- Jesus paid the ultimate price for your debt to God!
- Jesus was cursed so you could be blessed!
- Jesus became unrighteous so you could become righteous!
- Jesus endured God’s wrath so you could experience God’s grace!
- Jesus was rejected by the Father so you could be reconciled to the Father!
- Jesus was shamed so that you could be unashamed!
- Jesus became unclean to make you clean!
- Jesus was hated so you could be loved!
What are some ways you can follow Jesus’ example by serving someone else in love?
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