Jesus Loves You! So Hard!

Ones who have hurt us the most are frequently those who have spoken the loudest about love.

“My bride, my gem, I love you!” the adulterous husband sang, only to kiss her cheek and flee to his mistress’s bed. “Brother, I love you!” declared an apparently devoted buddy, only to leave the knife in your back after his hug. “It’s only because I love you, my darling!” moaned the co-dependent mother as she devoured him like a black widow.

As a result, we might conclude that talking is inexpensive. Pretty phrases and Hallmark emotions have ruined the three tiny words that should be the most precious: I love you. In the midst of niceties and sweet nothings, how can we believe these words when they come from our Savior’s lips, as a friend recently asked me?

A Love from Higher Grounds

This is the response I wish I had prepared for my friend: From greater heights, Jesus expresses his love. Your Romeo may have sung up to you in your tower only to depart the following morning. Your father may have declared his love for you as he tucked you into bed, only to go down the driveway and never return. Your companion may have walked beside you, laughing with what appeared to be love’s tenderness, just to continue on and leave you behind. However, Jesus does not declare his love from beneath your castle, beside your bed, or while strolling by you. He announces it from on high:

The Savior who loves you declares it from above, high on a hill and hanging on a tree.

The Savior who loves you screams so loudly from above that His blood makes a visible image of love.

Jesus did not confess his love for you over a candle-lit meal. He did not confess his feelings for you in a luxury suite. He did not send a card or flowers from on high. He did not compose a poetry for you in the skies. He descended to be crucified. As your sin hammers nails through his hands and hangs him on a cross, he says he loves you. He did not only declare that he loved you; he died to demonstrate that he loved you in the most powerful way imaginable: “God demonstrates his love for us in that Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

So, how can you be certain that Jesus truly loves you? How can you be sure that his love will not depart you as others have? Look at where God demonstrates his love for sinners. Love’s thunderbolt strikes each wound, anguish, and nail. Every thorn on his brow, every claw on his back, every permitted mockery of his anguish echoes beneath his words of love. He did not give us a red rose; instead, he spilt his blood to demonstrate his vocation.

Where He Demonstrated His Love

Don’t let experience rob you of your magnificent Ruby. Do not allow sinners to distract you from experiencing Jesus’ love as revealed by his blood. Jesus is not your ex-lover. He isn’t your absentee mother or your violent father. He is not Judas Iscariot, who arrived as a friend but kissed as an adversary. Jesus is not like them, and he is not like us. He accepted the traitor’s kiss, our kiss, and welcomed those wretched nails, our nails.

And he endured far more than nails. As he carried our guilt, he was abandoned by his Father. “My God, my God, why have you left me?” Jesus wailed from the cross. (See Matthew 27:46.) This suffering could not be inflicted by mere men. Before this, bring on a thousand bloody crosses. Before this, bring on ten thousand thorny crowns and scourging whips. Jesus, who has been abandoned by the world, his people, and his followers, has now been abandoned by his Father.

Consider this: Did Jesus suffer in pain on a cross, lay down his life, and drink your cup of judgment just to forsake you afterwards, as sinners have done in the past? Did he travel the wrathful desert, fight the huge dragon, and marry his bride, only to divorce her later?

Oh, how he adores

We disrespect him by seeing an unfaithful human love on the cross. Others may have deserted you, but he did not. Others may have violated promises, but he hasn’t. Others’ love died or was broken; his will did not.

Return to God’s love, lost soul. Warm yourself, beloved saint, by the flames of this love.

In his death, the Savior created an enduring memorial of love upon a hill. From these heights, he demonstrated his dependability. By raising his damaged body, he elevated his word of love. His word is as unquestionable as his body is now beyond the reach of Roman spears.

Even with our affection, he is immensely trustworthy.