by Tim Hall
How can others be convinced that love is genuine?
His love for her was greater than words can express. Words had been used, but people are prone to view them as only words. So what could he do to prove beyond doubt that he loved her?
Preparations for the day of love began well in advance. Decades earlier the tree had been planted that would provide the crossbeams. Thousands of years earlier iron ore was buried deep in the earth, providing the material for the nails. 33 years earlier a fetus was conceived in the womb of a virgin that would bring to the world a different way to live.
Then the appointed day arrived. Jesus was not ambushed. It didn’t come as a total surprise. Before taking on his body of flesh he knew what would be demanded of him. One writer described the bittersweet journey to Calvary: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV).
How could anyone view their execution with joy? Only those who know their death is the means of rescuing the one they love can experience such feelings. Jesus had spoken of his love for his church just days before: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
This awesome love is a feeling shared by all in the Godhead: “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Many great events fill the headlines of the world’s newspapers, but only one event makes headlines in heaven – the retrieval of the lost sheep (Luke 15:7). Why else would the shepherd leave 99 sheep in the fold to find one that had gone astray?
On February 14, men around the world scramble to find just the right gift to prove their love to the special women in their lives. But none has ever given as deeply as Jesus: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
Is Valentine’s Day the day of love? Or is it only a faint shadow of that day millennia ago when the Son of God gave his life for you and me?
by Tim Hall