Greater Love. John 15:13

Posted on March 15, 2012 by

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“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

As we come to the end of John 15: 1-13, we see the Gospel in all its fullness and glory!  Jesus not only explains what true love is and how we are to love one another, but also fulfills the requirement despite our lack of love for God and others.  Let’s look at each extraordinary phrase.

Greater Love-  Jesus’ love for you and I is greater than anything we will ever experience.  Greater than anyone else’s love for you.  Yet I still give my love and affections to so many lesser loves.  Could it be that I have not believed that Jesus’ love for me is greater than all these things?

Has no one than this-  This is not wishful thinking!  No one loves us more deeply or passionately, no one has greater grace and mercy, no one has our best in mind or has the power to enable all things to work together for our good and God’s glory.  He alone is worthy of my best time, my best thoughts, my best response and my best efforts!  And yet he continues to love me despite my shortcomings and failures to love him back.

That he lay down his life for his friends-  What caused Jesus to lay down his life for you and I? Have you ever thought about that? He gave up his life to the extent that he could not get it back; he placed it fully in his Father’s hands.  Why?  Because of his complete and utter trust in his Father’s plan and power, knowing that only his Father could redeem it!  In Jesus’ obedience he held nothing back from his beloved Father, and submitted his life to him.  He bore God’s justified wrath, believing that his Father’s plan was better than anything he could accomplish on his own.

I also believe he knew what his suffering and death would accomplish for us.  He often spoke of heaven and going there to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-4). The writer of Hebrews says that for the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame and is now seated at the right hand of his Father.  He lay down his life because of the ‘greater love’ that he has for you and I.  Why do I turn to false gods, who are not gods at all, when I see this ‘greater love’ so clearly displayed on the Cross?

Jesus’ laying down of his life for rebellious sinners like us is not just an example of sacrifice out of love, it is how our salvation was accomplished!  If you haven’t already, take some time today to reflect on the cross and there displayed the greater love of Jesus Christ!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.                 (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

“Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God shouldst die for me?”

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