“The more I understand and contemplate Jesus’ surrender of Himself for me, the more I give myself again to Him.” -Andrew Murray
The gift of God is himself. The focus of the New Testament is this gift. Every line of logic, every doctrine leads back to God’s giving of Christ and Christ’s surrender of his life.
In his first epistle, John writes to the Asian churches afflicted by false doctrines. He points to the binary stars of God’s nature: “God is light” (1:5) and “God is love” (4:8, 16). In both cases, light and love result in the gift of Christ. From the light comes “the blood of Jesus his Son [which] cleanses us from all sin” (1:7 NET). His love was revealed (shades of John 3:16!), “God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him” (4:9).
Baptism and the Lord’s supper, the former the entryway into Christ, the latter the binder of brethren, both focus on Jesus’ surrender of himself for us, and proclaim our surrender to him. Every baptism we see, every supper we eat, cause us to appreciate anew his and our surrender.
A woman with a bad reputation sensed how Jesus, still in the full swing of ministry, surrendered himself for others. With her immoral gain, no doubt, she had purchased an alabaster flask of ointment and anointed his feet.
Jesus said that “her sins, which are many, are forgiven — for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47). Jesus’ point is that this “spontaneous devotion” comes from “one who is conscious of being forgiven already,”/1 perhaps in anticipation of Jesus’ actions.
“The greater the gift, the greater the gratitude,” says The Lutheran Study Bible.
Just so. And the more we contemplate and comprehend the immensity of that gift, the more we will pour out ourselves to him and for him. The more I give myself again.
1/ Laurence E. Porter, “Luke,” in F.F. Bruce, ed., International Bible Commentary with the NIV (1986): 1199.