7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
(1 John 4:7-11, NASB).
It is extremely wonderful that the propitiation of the Son satisfies justice between us all, as I have been talking about the past few blog posts. We might begin to think this is a dry theological point, a means to an end.
I was reflecting on the reason that we call Christ’s death on the cross the “passion”. In truth, I haven’t researched it at all and I have no idea why we really call it that. But I know what passion means. It means extreme desire. It means reckless love. It means fierce devotion to the point of obsession. It means laser-like focus born of strong wanting. How does this word relate to Jesus’ death on the cross?
It was absolutely reckless and dangerous love. It was abandon-everything-else desire. It was passion for us that led to such sacrifice. He wanted us. Badly. Enough to do this.
So when you are irritated at your brother or sister in Christ, and probably rightly so because they are a sinning fool, remember that you are irritated at an eternal creature of such beauty and glory and who is the object of such passionate desire that God Himself was willing to throw away everything else to secure an eternal relationship with him or her.
God is love. Not just any love. Not just idle affection. Not the gentle distracted love of a grandmother. That is a wonderful kind of love, but it is not this love. His was passionate love. His was a reckless love. His was a die-for-you love. His was a throw-away-every-other-option love. We are His obsession. We are not His obligation, we are His joy. This is the God who is love – the God who would go to such shocking lengths on our behalf.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. Amen.