Perfect Love - JESUS CHRIST !!!
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3
A man came staggering down the road his legs trembling under him as he carried a cross upon his bloody back. Muscle and bones could be seen amidst the blood and dirt as tags of skin dangled having been ripped into pieces from the lashes of the Roman soldiers who had beaten him within an inch of his life. His face was so swollen he could only see through squinted eyes. His beard that remained, not being plucked out was matted with blood and the spittle of his accusers. His identity would not have been known - Had it not been known. Yet, he had volunteered for all this. This is the test of true love. Love even for his enemies.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness— Isaiah 52:14 LB
In the background sounds of women were heard crying, groaning, and sobbing. Heartbroken, that this man was being treated with such indignation. But nearly drowning them were the sounds of a jeering mob, yelling, screaming, and hollering, "crucify him, crucify him!" Standing on the sidelines was a band of Roman soldiers, whose job was to keep any attempt made to rescue him from happening. They were no friend of his either and many of them even delighted in this grisly task.
But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. Luke 23:28
Weakened from his tormenters brutality, he fell to the ground under the weight of the cross. Even this man among men could bear it no further. This was the supreme test of all tests. Would he continue on to Calvary to face all the agony of shame, pain and abandonment? In the garden earlier he had prayed;
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:41-44
Who was this man? What awful crime had he done that brought all of this upon him? What hope did he have now in these dark hours?
My friends, the great suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ had been predetermined by His Father in eternity before the world was ever created. In the heart of God was a cross. A cross for his only Son. This would fully express the love of God for a fallen race of people. The cross would prove the depth of his love.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
How sad, it would take the cross for man to even begin to understand the love of God. How tragic, however, only some of the human family would ever avail themselves of the gift of that one on the cross. We are clearly told that only a few would discover the narrow road to heaven.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14
Still, this man, God’s only begotten son, God was willing to give so that whosoever believeth in him would not perish. There would be no shortcuts or holding back. What ever it was going to take, he was willing to give. His love was that great and determined.
Where is Perfect Love
In this life it is the desire of many to find that perfect love to spend their lives with. That beautiful lady or some handsome man is the dream of most, I suppose. When we find that one we want for our own and begin to live with them, we discover to our dismay, they are not that perfect one we thought at the beginning of our relationship. If the truth be told we are all flawed. We are all in the same lineage that descended from Adam and Eve who we know through the holy scriptures became the first sinners. None of us are perfect.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12
So because of who we are he came to cure, heal, cleanse, and forgive us of our sins, so we might know him and enjoy his love forever. There has never been a man like this man, and no one can or could ever do for you what he has already done.
I often wonder what is keeping so many from accepting this offered love. The three enemies man must combat daily, the Devil, the world and ourselves truly are the real reason people continue to reject the perfect love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, frankly, we are our own worst enemy. Because of who we are as a result of the fall, we are a selfish, greedy, rebellious people. We can hardly see beyond our own wants and demands because we are so self oriented. Our attitude toward the cross is blurred because of our sin. We do not think our sin is as grievous as it is described in the Bible. We all think we are good, religious and deserving of heaven. But, folks - WE ARE NOT!
Because of who Holy God is, sin must be dealt with. He cannot allow sin in his presence. This is why when Lucifer sinned in heaven he was thrown out along with all the angels who rebelled with him against God. God hates sin! He loves sinners, but he hates their sin! Sinners, sin had to be dealt with if man was to have fellowship with Holy God. Perfect love, took action. Before God made the world he knew what man would become and what he would do. BUT! God had a plan. A plan that only a God of love could implement and would implement.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8
A Lamb would be slain. Not just any lamb, but God’s lamb. It would be God’s little pet lamb; his only Son. Do you remember what the angel told Abraham long ago when he was about to sacrifice his son?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. Genesis 22:8
John the Baptist while baptizing in the river Jordan, saw Jesus walking down the banks of the river and exclaimed;
Behold the lamb of God Which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29
This was the lamb that God would provide. In the Old Testament offerings were made to God and lambs were very common. They were slain, and then offered up for the sins of the people. These offerings were pointing to the true lamb that was to come. The only lamb that could take away sin was the long promised Messiah. Now after four thousand years he had arrived in Israel as prophesied by the prophets.
His ministry would soon begin and last for some three and one half years as he went about doing good and teaching the people of the kingdom of God. He would gather around him twelve disciples to train who would carry on his work after he was gone.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19
These disciples would later be the leaders of the church which began on the day of Pentecost fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord from the dead.
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. John 10:17-18
Because Jesus was so willing to die for us the Father loved him. Oh, what a precious and wonderful love the Father and the Son had. They were in perfect agreement to redeem us from our sins. The price of redemption would be the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
So on that lonely dark day two thousand years ago, a man forsaken by friends, disciples and even God, went to the cross of Calvary on a hill outside of Jerusalem. It was known as the place of a skull because the hill so looked.
And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of the skull, Matthew 27:33
Never has anyone ever suffered so before. No, not even those in hell had ever so suffered, or were so suffering. Why, because in hell each person suffers only for their sin, but Jesus on the cross would suffer and pay the ultimate price for the sins of the whole world. That is why that scream of utter desperation burst from his mouth as he hung upon the cross;
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Mark 15:34
My friend, did you realize you were so loved? Did you know that no one in this whole world loves you that much? No one loves you like Jesus. You and I were created for him, to know him and enjoy him, forever. However, we will miss that if we neglect to repent of our sins that we have committed and by faith accept him as our own personal savior.
No, there is no one who can love us like Jesus. If you are not born again accept Him today in order to avoid eternity in hell where there is no love at all, except the love to get out. And there will be no getting out once one enters in - it is forever.
Perfect love has been shown for you and me. Perfect love awaits all of us who are willing to make that choice to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the craving of every person to be loved, but only the love of our Savior will satisfy the longing of our soul.
Father, we thank you so much for your perfect love. What can we say or do to ever thank you enough for loving and caring so much for us when we were so ugly in sin. We praise you and love you this day. Amen, Preacher