BY JORDAN MAYER
"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."
1 John 4:9-10
There are so many amazing things about the birth of Christ, but this passage from 1 John reminded me of another. God's love was manifested in a real, physical way. Just as Jesus is the Word Made Flesh, He is also Love Made Flesh. He is the physical manifestation of God's love. He shows us what real love is, the lengths it will go, the depths it will reach, and the sacrifices it will make.
We all claim to love a great many things. In fact, we say it all the time. "I love my job". "I love my family". "I love to read". "I love you". It's easy to say, isn't it? But what we say in love pales in comparison to what we do in love. As John reminds us, love is not simply in word or talk but in deed and truth (1 John 3:18). So when we read "for God so loved the world that", we see God's love in action. The eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the Universe willingly took on human flesh to make His love known. He who was infinite and limitless became finite and limited for us.
But the thing is, it's easy to love the loveable, to do good for good people. But what about those who don't deserve it? What about those who are clearly not good? What about us? It's in the midst of these questions that we uncover the true wonder of God's love. God sent us His Son, not because we are so good but because He is. In fact, it was while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8), enemies of God (Romans 5:10), children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), that Christ came to die for us.
Think of that Holy Infant, so tender and mild. God, himself, made manifest to dwell among us. Think of what awaited that baby, of all that He would have to endure. And yet, realize that before the world began, He made the choice to come.
He took on human flesh...because He loves you.
He walked that weary road...because He loves you.
He bore that awful cross...because He loves you.
As I write this post, I am reminded of the verse from the hymn, "And Can It Be That I Should Gain":
He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace
Emptied Himself of all but love
And bled for Adam’s helpless race
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free
For O my God, it found out me!
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?