"This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:9-10 NIV)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." (1 John 3:16 NIV)
Last week we saw how we had been rescued; we saw that the Father sent a Saviour as it is impossible for us to save ourselves.
That was a big sacrifice for both the Father and the Son.
The Father knew that the only way for us to come back home was to have the burden of sin lifted from us and for it to be totally destroyed through the death and resurrection of Jesus. For that to happen the eternal, divine Son of God had to leave the beauty, peace and rest of Heaven and take on the brokenness of humanity. Despite leaving that place of eternal comfort he knew that his Father would be with him every step of the way, even through the agony of the cross.
Jesus made that sacrifice willingly. Not just because he loved the whole of the human race but more than that because of his love for his Father and his absolute desire to do and see his will accomplished.
It is this sacrificial love that draws us towards our eternal home. It draws us to the place of comfort and rest where we can experience the love of the Father and to know that he is loving us right now.
Recently, in the UK, a prominent politician resigned from leading his party due to the attack on his faith by sections of the media. He concluded his resignation speech with these words:
"....what would lead me to voluntarily relinquish that honour. In the words of Isaac Watts it would have to be something ‘so amazing, so divine, it demands my heart, my life, my all’.
This person was the recipient of sacrificial love and he knew what it meant for him. It meant everything. My prayer is that we, too, will discover the joy of abandoning ourselves to our Father, not because we have to but because we want to.