So far we have looked at many reasons why Jesus came to earth, lived, and died for us. We have looked at who He was, what He taught, and ultimately how He saved us. We have discussed how He left heaven, became the perfect sacrifice, took the Father’s wrath, rose from the dead, and secured for us a relationship with God and an eternity in Heaven. But today I want to discuss one of the key motivating factors in Jesus’ life and purpose: His own intimate love for each one of us.
First, lets read over a few scriptures that tell us about Jesus’ love for us and let them sink into our hearts before we go any further:
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
[He] loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
These are very simple verses that get the point across: Jesus loves us. But there is so much depth to each one listed above. John Piper says that the early witnesses who suffered the most for being Christians were captured by this fact: Christ “loved me and gave himself for me.” They took the self-giving act of Jesus’ sacrifice very personally. Surely, this is the same way we should understand what Jesus did for us, it has to do with “me.”
His life, death, and resurrection has to do with me. They are about Christ’s love for me personally. It is my sin that cuts me off from God, not sin in general.It is my selfishness and spiritual numbness that demeans the worth of Jesus. I am lost and perishing.I personally need Jesus to save me.
You see, Jesus could have stopped His crucifixion at any time. As Jesus’ disciples are fighting back when He is being arrested, He replies to them, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53). Yet He never did. Why? Because He loves us. Because He loves you. Because He wants you in His family. Because He desires a loving, intimate relationship with you.
When the whips removed flesh from his body, when He was spit on, when He had a crown of thorns shoved onto His head, when He was beaten, mocked, ridiculed, and nailed to a tree, what was He thinking of? A better question is, “who was He thinking of?” He was thinking of you. He was thinking of the end result- the ability for you to be completely forgiven and enter into a loving relationship with Him. We see this in Hebrews, ” Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Heb. 12:2). You see, You were a part of the joy awaiting Him. He was thinking of you! You were the motivation that kept Him going. Jesus loves you. And I promise you, He would do it all again, just for you.
The Song of Solomon, a book in the Bible that shows us Christ’s love for His people, says,
“You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes.” (Song of Sol. 4:9)
This describes Jesus, and the way He views us now, in relationship with Him. One of the verses mentioned in the beginning told us that Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her. And you will find in the rest of the Bible that the Church is referred to as a “her” because it is also called Christ’s bride. And this verse tells us that we, as Jesus’ bride, captivate His heart. It tells us that with one glance of our eyes, we make Jesus’ heart beat faster. Think about that!!! With one glance of our sinful, dirty, human eyes, we make the divine heart beat faster. This is personal, it is directed to you, if you are in Christ. When you look to Him, His heart beats faster. You captivate Jesus’ heart. He loves you deeply.
This picture of us being the “bride” is no accident. It was meant to show us how much Jesus loves us. The book of Matthew describes Jesus as the groom, and us as the bride. Think about the picture: a groom on His wedding day, with everyone staring at him to watch His reaction as the bride walks down the isle. We’ve all been there, right? The “sweetest” moments are when the groom can’t hold himself together. The Song of Solomon verse shows is that Jesus is having a hard time keeping Himself together…even now. That’s how much He loves us. His heart is captivated by us.
Back to the wedding analogy: The groom on his wedding day is overwhelmed with joy and love. This is undoubtedly the most joyful moment of his life…which elicits such reactions of tears and excitement. And it is the same way with Jesus. This image was the joy set before Him. One day you and I will walk down the isle to Him, dressed in white, completely clean…and neither He nor us will be able to hold it together…especially Jesus. Beloved, You are the joy set before Him.
He intimately and passionately loves You.