Summary: Christ’s love is reflected in the lives of those who are his disciples.
Remember the day when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and the people couldn’t bear to look at Moses because they saw the reflection of God’s glory in his face? I hope and I pray that it might be so with every one of us! We have seen God, in the face of Jesus. We have known his mercy and grace. We have basked in the warmth of his love. We have gloried in the assurance we have in our eternal salvation. We have been to the cross and we have been to the empty tomb and we eagerly await for his return.
Can people see that we have been there? Do they know we belong to Christ? Can they read it on our faces and in our lives?
Can People See Jesus In Our Faces?
1. because we know the love of God in Christ
Why was Jesus willing to go to the cross to save you? That might seem like a silly question. We know why Jesus died for us. He died for us because he loved us.
That only brings us another question. Why did Jesus love us? Why would he become emotionally attached to people who forsook him and fled, lied about him in court, spit in his face, crowned him with thorns, nailed him to a cross, and dared him to come down? Why would someone so perfect love people so sinful as you and me?
Our text gives us an answer to that question. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” If you’ve ever read psychological profiles of people who are in prison for repeated crimes or who are on death row, they are sometimes described as “incapable of love.” They may say they love their wife or their children. But because they grew up in a family where there was no love shown between mother and father and between the parents and the children, they never learned how to express and show their love. They became “incapable of love.”
If people who grow up without love are incapable of love, then the opposite must also be true. People who grow up in an environment where there is lots of love are also capable for lots of love. For all of eternity before the world was created, for those never beginning and never ending eons in the timelessness of heaven, God the Father loved God the Son in the family of the Triune God. There was never a moment in all those eons when God the Father did not love the Son.
Then how do you explain the hours on the cross when God punished Jesus for the sins of the world? There was a father who took his son to the hospital for an emergency surgery on his appendix. The child was frightened and didn’t want to leave his father. But as the child was taken into the surgery room, the father could not go along. The child cried and begged that the father not leave his side. But the father, who never stopped loving his son, let go of his son’s hand because he knew it was necessary. It had to be.
So it was in those moments on the cross. It had to be. There was no other way for mankind to be saved. It would take the life of his one and only Son. It would take those moments in hell to atone for the sins of every generation that ever lived or would live. So God let go of his Son, not because he stopped loving him, but because it had to be.
Did Jesus know that? Of course he did. He also knew what had to be. He also never lost sight of his Father’s love. His first words from the cross were, “Father, forgive them.” His last words from the cross were, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” God’s Son never stopped showing that he was confident of his heavenly Father’s love.
Friends, do you realize that the necessity for which God made his Son suffer was you and me? I don’t know if we can say that God for that moment at least loved us MORE than his own Son. I don’t know if we can say that for that moment God love us AS MUCH AS his own Son. But I know we can say with confidence that God, who did not spare his own Son because of the necessity of saving us, certainly has loved us from eternity and will love us to eternity.
And I surely know that I can say that Jesus, who says that he loved us as his heavenly Father loved him, loved us more than his own life. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remained in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. That is how we know that God loves us. Because God the Son laid down his life for us.