Now imagine that indeed you did decide it was worth the risk. Your child was old enough to understand the ramifications and went willingly. Unfortunately, after several hours of surgery and countless life-saving attempts your child didn’t make it. The surgeons were able to obtain what they needed in order to save millions but your child died.
In the days, weeks and months that followed word got out and most of the millions who were healed by the sacrifice of your child were so grateful to you. You received cards and letters from them, financial donations, and some even came to visit you and personally thank you for what you had given them. But, as time went on, you heard from them less and less. This sacrifice you and your child had made for them was the foundation of a real relationship – or so you thought. Was it not because of your child that they were able to live and breathe? And yet for most it seemed acknowledging you was relegated to the obligatory once a week visit between errands. Sure you’d get a little note here and there quickly scribbled while they sat in traffic one afternoon. Then there was the paltry gifts on the anniversary of your child’s birthday or death. But where were these people? Where was the love for what your child had done for them?
While no analogy is perfect, isn’t this story exactly what our Heavenly Father did for us? We were hopelessly mired in sin, unable to save ourselves and doomed for death when He freely gave His Son as a sacrifice to save us. Haven’t we at times glossed over the significance of this great and personal sacrifice? Haven’t we flippantly taken it for granted remembering it when we take communion on Sunday (if we’re not too busy thinking about the other chores we need to accomplish that day) and then always at Christmas and Easter?
As I examined my own understanding of God’s love for me, I couldn’t help but feel convicted by this analogy. I had taken Jesus’ life, death and resurrection for granted. I had forgotten how personal that sacrifice was for me. My thankfullness didn’t compare to the depth of His sacrifice for me. But the Lord didn’t let the analogy stop there! There’s one more piece and it’s the MOST IMPORTANT piece of all.
Suppose you knew ahead of time that many of the millions that were to be saved by your child’s life were going to ignore the gift completely. Suppose you knew that many would stop being thankful at some point or “forget” the sacrifice you made. Then would you have risked your child’s life?
This is the compassion of our God! God knew EXACTLY how we were going to react to His gift and still He gave up the life of His Son so that we didn’t have to pay for our sins with our lives as we deserve! That is LOVE! Does this give us permission to forget to thank Him every day for what He has done for us? As Paul would say, “By no means!” But I hope you see how intimately personal His love is for you. Our Heavenly Daddy knows each of us and knows our forgetfulness, our self-centeredness, our sin. And NONE of that was going to stop Him from sacrificing His one and only Son for us. That is LOVE, my friend – personal love – AND IT’S YOURS!
He wants you to know, experience, and remember His love and the life-saving forgiveness we have received every moment of everyday! Do you know it? Seek Him and you will KNOW His love for you!
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8