Love Crucified Arose!
By Robert Ricciardelli www.vision2advance.com
Long ago He blessed the earth, born older than the years,
And in the stall a cross He saw, through the first of many tears.
A life of homeless wandering cast out in sorrow's way,
The Shepherd seeking for the lost, His life, the price He paid
Love crucified, arose, the Risen One in splendor
Jehovah soul Defender, has won the victory
Love crucified, arose, and the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke, is beating once again
(Love Crucified Arose- Michael Card)
Are we living daily in the reality of Christ’s sacrifice, and the power of His resurrection? So great a love was given to us, and all we needed to do was respond to Him. Out of this Great Love, He is beckoning to love Him, love others, and be His Christ carriers to the world. We have received His resurrection power and are commissioned by Almighty Father to carry out His redemption plan for the world.
Father’s love is beyond human description. His love is not expressed because of what is in us, or by anything we could ever do. His love encompasses who He is is, and extends to us by the nature of who He is. He loves us because of the fact that He is love. He sent His son to die for the unlovely, and the undeserved. How can we describe such wondrous love?
Exodus 34:5-7 gives a great picture of the nature of God.
Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."
Let’s take a look at the nature of the Father in this passage:
¬ Merciful and gracious: Merciful could be translated, "full of compassion." In five of the 13 times it is used, this word is translated full of compassion in the NKJV. This is the first place in the Bible where this Hebrew word rachuwm is used.
¬ The same word was also used regarding Israel and the Exodus in Psalms 78:38: But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath. This is compassion in action.
¬ The word translated gracious comes from the idea "to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, or to bestow." It is grace, giving to the undeserving.
¬ Grace is still the greatest word I know in representing the undeserved, and free gift of the Love of God."
¬ Longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth: The idea behind the word longsuffering means that God is slow to anger. He doesn't have a short fuse and is patient with us.
¬ We all know what it is like to deal with people who have a short fuse - the slightest offense, the slightest perceived wrong, and they are up in arms about it. God isn't like that. He is longsuffering.
¬ Not merely adequate, but abounding is this great God of glory. He has barns and silos full of love and faithfulness; he is stacking it in the streets looking for a distribution system." (Erwin)
¬ Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin: God's goodness is shown concretely towards us in His forgiving character.
¬ Iniquity and transgression and sin are all mentioned so no one would think there was some type of sin , or sin nature, God was unable to forgive.
¬ This revelation of the character of God to Moses forever puts away the idea there is a "bad" God of the Old Testament, and a "good" God of the New Testament. God's character of love and mercy and grace is just as present in the Old Testament as in the New Testament.
¬ Psalm 86:15 repeats this exact same revelation of God: But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
¬ His loving, gracious, and giving character do not "cancel out" His righteousness. Nations and generations have paid the price for rejecting His Goodness and His Governement. Because of the work of Jesus, the righteousness of God is satisfied and the grace and mercy of God are righteously given.
As we continue on this path towards bringing His Kingdom, His love, and His influence and nature to the world, we not only have the Word of God to give us the standards of His ways, but we now have His Spirit within us to empower us walk in His Divine standards. We now are carriers of His presence wherever we go, and in every context of life. We must take the high road, His Agape road to get there.
Bob Mumford has written a great book that Joyce and I highly recommend called “Agape Road”, that disseminates the differences between the foundations of Eros, or self-love, and His Agape love that is pure agenda-less love. Will we choose His life, and His Agape Road? Will we choose to exchange our life for His? Can we diminish thoughts of self, while being consumed with loving thoughts for Him and for others? In the power of His presence within us, and His love that desires to extend from us, we can make a difference to the glory of God.
Love crucified arose, may be arise each day, empowered for every good work as "Father pleasers".
"The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But His resurrection gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice." – Henry Knox Sherrill.