Archive for April 6th, 2012

He Loves Me

“He really loves you, you know.”

I had bumped into a friend in the hallway at church after Bible study.  She is attending a seminar class in the evenings with my husband, and made this off-handed comment as we were swapping “Matt stories.”

“He really loves you, you know.”

It made me catch my breath.  All my life, all I’ve ever really wanted is to be loved.  Loved deeply and truly for who I am.  Loved unconditionally despite all my insecurities and faults.  Loved faithfully regardless of my quirks and idiosyncrasies.  Loved…and accepted.

“He really loves you, you know.”

I know.  I’ve seen the sacrifices he’s made.  I’ve heard the pride in his voice and seen the admiration in his eyes.  I’ve sensed the tenderness in his touch.  I’ve noticed his acts of service – both big and small.  I’ve witnessed the fire of his protection and felt the compassion of his care.  Yes, I know he loves me.  Without a doubt, I know it.

“He really loves you, you know.”

Yet, on this Good Friday, I wonder if I truly know what it means to be loved.  And as these words bounce around in my head, I find my thoughts drawn to another…a Man who fulfills every expectation of what it means to love another.  A Man who sacrificed beyond anything I can comprehend to pursue a relationship with me.  A Man who abandoned His position of honor and authority in order to make Himself accessible to me.  A Man who was willing to offer Himself as my protector, enduring the humiliation, scorn, and shame meant for me.

“He really loves you, you know.”

And then, to prove that love, this Man stood before my accusers.  He accepted the insults, the mocking, the accusations that were rightfully mine.  He demanded that the punishment I deserved be commuted onto His flesh instead.  He carried my cross, laden with guilt, condemnation, and failure.  He allowed Himself to be nailed to that cross, to be put on display for all to see, to suffer the death reserved for the most vile and degenerate.  As that cross was lowered into the ground and his battered, half-naked body was lifted up, He stretched out his arms as if to show me…

“I really love you, you know.”

With His arms outstretched, He chose to die.  He allowed Himself to be rejected by His own Father so I could ultimately be accepted.  He gave His life so I wouldn’t have to.  He endured the very wrath of Hell itself so that I would never see condemnation.

“He really loves you, you know.”

Yes.  Yes, I know.  I look at that cross, and I absolutely know.  I drink the cup and eat the bread, and I know.  I see my own sin – my ugliness and failure – and I know…

He really loves me.

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