The Love of God
Hello Fellow Crazy Lovers of Jesus!
It’s clear who’s faithful and who is not: the Lord is and I am not, which holds true since He is the “Great I Am”! This summer has been super busy for me: I had two back-to-back week-long conferences (which were amazing by the way), along with a lot of planning for this coming school year’s activities, and I MOVED…right next door 🙂 Nevertheless, I am thankful to the Lord for another opportunity to release His riches!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
This is a common verse to both unbelievers and believers alike, and it was very common to me up until this past Monday. During this time I received some new revelation concerning the preciousness of this verse as if I had read it for the first time. Allow me to posit a question before you: does God hate sin more or death (death in the sense of its totality–if that even helps)? As a Christian growing up, I would have said without hesitation that God hates sin more because I knew that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross to take away my sins. I also would have chosen sin just because I would have had no understanding of this word “death” and how it has anything to do with my Christian life. Truth be told, the matter of “death” is a pretty mysterious item in the Bible, so in order to understand how God feels about it we must look at the Lord’s own word in Numbers and Leviticus.
In the Old Testament, what did the children of Israel have to do when they sinned? They simply had to bring an animal as a sacrifice to the priest, who would then make expiation for them, and then they would be instantaneously forgiven (Leviticus 4-6). Yet, do you know what happened if they touched anything that died? You might suppose that it is the same with committing a sin, but this is actually not the case. In fact, the outcome involved the person being unclean until the evening (Leviticus 11:25, 28, 40) or even worst they would be unclean for seven days! (Numbers 19:11, 16) Thus, this implies that death, in the eyes of God, was seen as more hateful since the restoration of a person took much longer when dealing with death rather than that of the restoration that came from committing a sin.
Now, why am I even making this distinction? Consider this: if God hates death more than sin, do you think that it’s a small matter in God’s eyes to give His only begotten Son, the Beloved, to pass through death? If you search the Bible, you will find that God only refers to the Son as His beloved, which means that nothing is more precious in His eyes than Him. We must realize then that the love of God for us is more than we could even fathom! He loved us to the extent that He would allow even the One He loves the most to go into the thing that He hates the most: death. Death, in its simplest terms, is the absence of everything that God is; and this is where He gave His Son to go because He loved us that much. I was really touched by this and I hope that whoever reads this would go before the Lord and ask Him to renew afresh their vision of the love of God.
A further word: God loves us without measure such that He would be willing to suffer death not only to save us from sin, but to also resurrect and come into us as the Spirit in order to bring life into our spirit (Romans 8:9-11, 16). God loves us to the extent that He would not only save us from our sins as an instant salvation, but even more to come into us to save us from living a life absent of His presence, which is a living death!
Until the next post, keep enjoying the love of God by this clip on YouTube; you can find the lyrics here! Grace be with you from Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley!
Posted on August 7, 2013, in Daily Enjoyments and tagged Berkeley, Bible Study, Christ, Christians, Christians on Campus, Christians on Campus Berkeley, Crazy Lover, death, fellowship, God, Jesus, John 3:16, Justin Starks, Leviticus, love, Numbers, students, UC Berkeley, UC Berkeley campus. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.