HOW MUCH DOES GOD LOVE US?

MARK 15:33-34: “And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (ESV)

OBSERVATION: How much does God love us? We are all familiar with John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (‭ESV) Yet, do we really grasp the great sacrifice that the Father , the Son, and the Spirit gave when Jesus was crucified?

From all eternity God had existed in divine fellowship – the Father, the Logos (Word), and the Spirit. The word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, but it is aptly used to describe the revelation in Scripture which shows that God is ONE in essence and purpose, but THREE in person. We see this in creation when God said “…let US make man in our image…” We see this in the baptism of Jesus with the Father speaking, and the Spirit descending upon Jesus (the Word) in the form of a dove. The Father, the Logos (Word), and the Spirit were all a part of this sacrifice!

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ ESV)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (‭Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭18-19‬ ESV)

Jesus, the Eternal Word, emptied Himself of all of His Godly attributes and glory and became a man. God entered His own creation in human flesh to walk among us, to experience personally all that we suffer, and to ultimately take our place bearing the ultimate penalty for our sin – death. Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb without sin, spot, or wrinkle. He was not dragged to His sentence, but willingly offered Himself as our substitutionary sacrifice. Yet, this was not the greatest expression of His love. There was something He did that transcended the pain of His scourging and physical crucifixion. It was the ultimate expression of His love for us.

Jesus experienced separation from God – so that we would never have to! Jesus took upon Himself all of our sin, guilt, and shame – and for a brief moment in time became separated from the one He had been united with from all eternity. Jesus cried out in agony as He experienced the dark place of separation from the Father and the Spirit. Jesus bore our penalty for sin and the ultimate consequence that awaits those who do not repent and believe. Jesus experienced the reality of hell – separation from God! I cannot even fathom the darkness, the sorrow, nor the pain. And Praise God – because of His love – I NEVER WILL HAVE TO! His great love and sacrifice has broken the chains of sin, hell, and the grave. This is a free gift to all who will believe and call upon His name – following Him as loving disciples by grace through faith.

Oh, the matchless and unfathomable Love of God! May I never take this great love for granted. May I always be drawn to worship and praise when I think upon His Cross. In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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