Originally posted several years ago, this article continues to expound one of the most powerful truths in the Christian faith, and still calls each of us to greater consecration to our Father God in obedience and love.
” . . . but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.” John 14:31
With these words, Jesus is personally explaining to His disciples the reason He agreed to be born as a human being and become the sacrifice for man’s sin. Until the reality of these words sank into my heart during a time of meditation one day years ago, I had always believed that Jesus had been willing to go through the terrible crucifixion and separation from His holy Father just because He loved me so much. I had thought His love for us, the people He had created, had compelled Him to that cruel cross.
But this verse forced me to come face to face with the truth. It wasn’t love for us that caused Jesus to pay the awful price. Rather, it was His love for His Father: “That the world may know that I love the Father . . . even so I do.”
Now, to be sure, it was the Father’s love for us that caused Him to send Jesus. But it was Jesus’ love for the Father that caused Him to obey and carry out the plan. Indeed, love for the Father instigated and controlled absolutely everything that Jesus, the Son, did. We were the fortunate recipients of that beautiful obedience, but we were not the cause.
Most assuredly, as God, His love for us moved Him to compassion, but His love for the Father moved Him to obedience. He spoke and acted, not out of His own compassion, but only as He felt the Father speak and act in compassion. He makes that fact clear repeatedly during His ministry. Because He was determined to be a continuously obedient vessel, He never acted or reacted because of what He saw or felt personally, but because He felt the Father’s leading and wanted to please Him.
That truth seems so simple, but when it finally settled deeply in my consciousness, it brought me to a new level of enlightenment concerning Jesus and what moved and controlled Him. Not only did I see Jesus in greater revelation, but consequently I was confronted with a greater understanding of what it means for me to be “like Jesus.”
I realized more than ever that being like Him was much more than obeying commandments, walking in forgiveness, loving people, and reaching out to meet their needs in the power of God. Those endeavors are, to be sure, part of the Christ-like character. But the overriding requirement for being Christ-like, indeed the very root of Christ-likeness, is love of the Father.
Love of the Father must be our primary reason also for doing or refusing to do anything. Certainly, the right words and the right actions will get a job done or solve a problem many times. But speaking or acting because we believe it is what Jesus would do, or even because we love those whose needs we are trying to meet by those words and actions, never makes us one with the nature of Jesus. No, beloved Christian, only a passionate, all-consuming love of our Father God will bring us fully into oneness of nature and character with Jesus.
When we love the Father so much that we live to please Him, even hunger to please Him, we have truly entered into the nature of Jesus Himself. When no circumstance and no person moves us to action, but rather the leading from our Heavenly Father, Whom to please is more important than life itself, then we will have come to that place where Jesus is truly living His life in us.
Then the world will “know that we love the Father, and as the Father gives us commandment, even so we do.” They will see the same love of the Father that they saw in Jesus – a love that leads us to an obedience so supernatural that it compels those watching to turn to a God Who merits such a love.
Dear Christians, may it be our constant prayer that the love of the Father will be our only motivation in every facet of our lives from this day forward.
O, Lamb of God
So pure, so holy, undefiled,
You came so meekly,
Vulnerable, a tiny child.
You took our sin
And took all of its consequence.
You chose the cross,
And on it your lifeblood was spent.
But for what cause,
When tempted in the garden that night,
Did you still choose
To let yourself be crucified?
You told us, Lord;
If we’d just listen, we would know.
You said, “Because
I love the Father, I will go.”
Lord, work in us
That holy and obedient love,
That we, when tried,
Will speak and act only for God.
(Photo courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy)
Christ’s blood seeped from the puncture wounds the thorns produced around his head. His blood ran freely from the scourging that tore apart his back and torso. It gushed from his side slashed open by the soldier’s spear. His bright red blood mingled with death’s morbid, black shroud that afternoon on Calvary’s infamous hill.
But during the somber three days following that seemingly fatal failure, that precious red blood inundated the black of death — mixed with it and overcame its fearful depths — and thus created the regal color of victory. And purple reigns forever, the color of royalty upon the throne of the universe. Salvation is complete.
Today I’ve chosen to post the same response to the prompt on both this site and my “Happy Wordcrafter” site. So if they look identical, you’re right: they are.
To participate in the prompt visit Daily Post.
(2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:4-8).
To participate in today’s prompt visit Daily Post
There is but One whose love and help are sure.
Renewed each day as surely as the sun.
Under His wings of grace I find the cure:
Sin and hate, sorrow, sickness – done.
‘Tis Jesus Christ, the sole trustworthy One.
Tiny babe: He took that form in Bethlehem.
Relinquishing Heaven’s privileges, became a man.
Upon Himself, He took my sin and all its curse.
Secure in Love’s omnipotence, He took the cross.
Then surely I can trust myself into His hands.
How deep and dark the grave in which they laid the Lord.
And naught to give Him hope except the Father’s Word.
But ’twas enough, for God had said, “When day three comes,
You’ll rise with life anew and come again to home.”
Throughout the vigil, silence reigned and men did mourn.
And in the halls of Hell, the demons, they did groan:
This man from off the cross had stormed their barriers staid.
Hell panicked at the word from Heaven: “The price is paid!”
Then Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, stepped forth
And grasped the keys of Death and Hell with violent force.
Then rose through realms beneath to burst from earth and grave.
His shout of victory rang abroad: “Mankind is saved!”
Today is ‘Good Friday,’ and it brings us almost to the end of the 6-week Lenten season. During that season Christians all over the world have focused on the suffering and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, contemplating the awful price He paid for man’s rebellion and sin. John the Baptist introduced Jesus as “The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29).
The Word of God also says, in the book of Hebrews, “He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. …We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Now where there is forgiveness … there is no longer any offering for sin. Since, therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus … let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”
As believers consider what Jesus has done for all mankind this season, it would be good to remember this truth: Even under the Old Covenant, when a man brought a lamb to be sacrificed for his sin, neither the priest nor God Himself looked at the man to see if he measured up to a certain standard so that his sacrifice could be accepted and his sin forgiven. The only thing they looked at was the lamb itself. If the lamb was unblemished — spotless — perfect — the sacrifice was accepted, and the man walked away free of all guilt and condemnation.
So it is in the better covenant that Jesus instituted through His death and resurrection. In the New Covenant — as in the Old — God is not looking at you and me to see if we measure up well enough to be forgiven or to be admitted into His presence. He’s looking at your Lamb. He’s looking at my Lamb. So we can rejoice, beloved! We can go free from all sin and guilt and shame. We are forgiven and accepted totally and freely — for OUR LAMB IS PERFECT!
“What will Christmas bring, Mom?”
“Why, Son, ’twill bring you lots of toys and joys.”
“What else will Christmas bring, Mom?”
“Well, fun and games with other girls and boys.”
“But later on in life, Mom,
Will Christmas mean a lot when I am grown?”
“Oh, yes, it will mean more, Son.
For as you grow, a great truth you’ll be shown.
“You’ll learn that Jesus came, Son,
Not just to be a babe in manger sweet,
But to grow up a strong man,
Horrible death and suffering to meet.
“He came to take our sin, Son
And pay the price for it on Calvary.
So God could look upon us all
And shout, ‘From sin and all its curse you’re free!’”
“But I love the little babe, Mom.
I don’t want to think He died for me.”
“That’s what makes Christmas grand, Son:
That Jesus came to die and set us free.”
“You mean, the little baby, Mom?
He had to die and never live again?”
“No, Son, on Resurrection Day,
He rose victorious o’er death for all men.
“This truth of Christmas time, Son,
I think you now begin to understand:
It was the birth of death to sin,
And of eternal life for every man.”
Seized and stripped and slapped and spit upon,
Scornful salutations; sorrow; shame;
Satan stalks the Son of God and Son of Man:
Scarlet stripes, scalding tears, searing pain;
Search the scriptures, surely they the story tell:
Insatiable evil strikes; the Lamb is slain.
But surely, it’s my sins He bore, my sorrow,
My sickness, my distress, my grief, my pain,
Submitted Sacrifice: He sealed the promise;
Sufficient, He bought me peace with God again.
My heart pounded
As they dragged me out.
They stood me close beside Him,
And I looked about.
The crowd was frenzied:
With rage and raw disgust.
I wasn’t sure the real cause —
Why they fumed and cussed.
I glanced beside me
To catch a glimpse of Him,
But what my eyes saw in His
Convicted me within.
When the guards shouted,
“Who is it going to be?”
Then I understood they’d choose
To set one free.
“We want Barabbas!
Set Barabbas free!”
I could not believe my ears:
They chose, not Him, but me.
“But what of Jesus?”
Pilate asked the crowd.
“Crucify Him! Crucify Him!
He is not our God!”
My shackles fell off:
By law a free man.
Pilate called for water then
And there he washed his hands.
The day grew darker
As He was hanging there,
Upon a cross with thieves each side;
Then He said a prayer.
He prayed, “Forgive them.”
Did that include me?
Then He cried, “It is finished!”
I thought, how can this be?
For suddenly I knew —
He’d died to save me too —
Even me — Barabbas.
(Scripture Reference: Matthew 27)
I am setting myself the task, during Passion Week, of writing one poem a day about the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to focus in some special way on His suffering and death, and then His glorious victory and resurrection for my sake.
I can’t think of a better way than to create a poem every day from today – Palm Sunday – through Resurrection Day – Easter Sunday. In fact, since much of the church in several parts of the world celebrates Easter Week (the week following Resurrection Day), I think I will even write a poem for Easter Monday of that week as well. I hope these poems add to your commemoration of our Lord’s loving sacrifice and to your celebration of His glorious salvation.
( Those of you who follow all three of my blogs will most likely see several of this week’s posts on all three sites. I just think they are too important to limit their publication to one small venue.)
Here’s Palm Sunday’s Poem:
A shackle placed upon the brow.
And scarlet robe on shoulders bowed.
The tortuous, mutilating pain.
To give me peace and health again.
To execute the Father’s plan.
Now empty stands:
He’s paid the price for every man.