The Limits of Unconditional Love

Human relationships are based on conditionality. We may say, “No, I married my spouse for life, I am in it no matter what! I will stick with him/her through everything – in sickness and in health, through richer or poorer. I will forgive him/her everything! I believe that, I really do.”

Suppose your spouse was prone to murder. She is coming at you, with the cold premeditated intent to murder you. I think most of us would draw the line there. If you intend to murder me, the relationship is pretty much over, right? It is entirely reasonable to say, if you are intending to murder me, I’m walking out of this relationship! So at the very least we are going to look out to preserve our own life, we are not going to persist in loving our significant other if it is going to kill us.

However, when Jesus was actually being murdered, in the very moment of the murderous act, He still remained unmoved in love:

33 And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”
(Luke 23:33-35, NASB).

Here is a love which is truly not based on conditionality, a love without limits! While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8). Though we murder Him, still He persists in love, and resurrects from the dead to love us still! If He will forgive murder, what won’t He forgive? If murder isn’t a conditionality, what could we possibly do that could destroy this relationship? The very cross of Christ itself is the loudest proclamation possible of our assurance. The resurrection is proof that we cannot break or stop His perfect love for us, even though we murder Him. His perfect love persists beyond our murderous ignorance. By this persistent resurrection love we are saved.

16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
19 We love, because He first loved us.
(1 John 4:16-19, NASB).

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