Cary Allen
03 Apr

Did you feel it this Easter? The last number of years, I’ve participated in scriptural based podcasts that highlight when and what Jesus did during Holy Week.  Spending time thinking on these scriptures gives you a sense of the weight of what Jesus did for us and the immeasurable volume of love it must have taken. He was laser focused on doing exactly what needed to be done to fulfill the Word of God, although it meant that He would be misunderstood, ridiculed, beaten, flogged and crucified. During that week, there was vital teaching and a new covenant with God that had to be put in place. There were prayers for His disciples and for those who would come to believe through their message (i.e., all of us). There were prayers with sweat like drops of blood (Luke 22:44) asking if there was another way and yet with humble submission that the Father’s will be done.

Jesus had said that all the Law and the Prophets hang on two commands:  to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:37-40) and no one has or ever will love God and us to the degree that Jesus did that week culminating with His crucifixion.  In addition to the physical pain, suffering and shame He experienced, Jesus took all the sin of the world upon Himself and was separated from God as our perfect atoning sacrifice.  [Mat 27:46 NIV] 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?")

We have no idea how much sorrow and how much more love it took for a perfectly Holy God the Son to take the past, present, and future sin in the world upon Himself and choose to experience this separation from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit on our behalf. We also have no idea how much sorrow and how much more love it took for a perfectly Holy God the Father and God the Holy Spirit to allow this sacrifice to be made to atone for our sins. There are no adequate words that describe the level of love that God, who is truly and amazingly One, has for us. 

The only way I can try to describe this love is through an experience God gave me when I was a young father of three.  We were at a birthday party that my 6-year-old daughter was invited to, and I was sitting on the side of the pool with my 2-year-old son. Something distracted me and when I looked back, my son had walked down the steps into the pool and the water was starting to cover his head.  I immediately jumped in fully dressed and carried him out coughing and sputtering. He was fine, but that event deeply affected me. Later that day when I was thinking about how much God loved me for saving my son, I realized that He loved me much more than that. When I saw my son in the water, everything in me wanted to save him and I couldn’t get to him fast enough. And I reasoned that if I, a selfish and sinful father wanted so very much to save my only son, how much more did a perfect, holy, and loving God the Father want to save His only Son on a cross but chose not to because of His love for us.  This is just a simple illustration of the level of love that God has for us, and yet it still blows me away.  

John describes this love in several passages, including: [1John 4:7-10 NIV] 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.   

Easter is such an amazing time and truly defines love (1John 4:10 above).  The heaviness of Holy Week turns into astonishing joy on Easter morning, and you begin to realize the magnitude of the love that God has for you.  And as believers, we have the immense privilege of living an abundant life through Christ, growing in our understanding of His love, and spurring one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb 10:24).


Cary Allen (  

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