⋅ In a world where marriage isn’t commonly held as sacred but as a piece of mere paper, it’s easy to allow experiences, observations and trends to determine the connotations surrounding it ⋅
Sacrificial love is a concept that was
not born out of the world; it was birthed out of the Father’s heart for us. You and me. Abba couldn’t stand the idea of being separated from you for eternity; His kid who He created so intentionally and beautifully. So what did He do? He entered into time. He entered into the body frame in which He constructed. He entered into His creation: the world. The King of the world chose to enter into the world through a teenager, who the world would judge and gossip about but He knew she would say yes to Him. The King of the world chose to enter into the world in a stable, with animals and subject to the winters cold; not the comfortable, accommodating room God could have opened up in the Inn.
My friends, Jesus did not exercise His advantage over us. He didn’t live as The Son of God – He lived as a Son of God. Even though He was and is God incarnate. Jesus lived as one of us and demonstrates all we can become with a heart inclined to Him.
Jesus did not live on the earth and preach the Gospel to incite judgement nor did He prioritize rallying up crowds in order to achieve blind followers.
He doesn’t want slaves. He wants to be known. Intimately, by you.
Why am I telling you this? What has any of this have to do with marriage?
It is the simple Gospel but it is a love story. A scandalous one. One that doesn’t make sense. One that Satan wants to water down to religion so we receive his sucky inheritance instead of the one we are gracefully given but not deserving of: Jesus’. Jesus got what we deserve (HELL) and we receive what He is deserving of. We are co-heirs with Christ. Abba clothes all who come home to Him with the best robes and rings. (Romans 8:17, Luke 15).
Why? Why would Jesus do that?
Because He has always been a fierce, jealous lover of YOU.
Jesus is our bridegroom. We are His bride. The Church is His Bride.
«« Brief interjection: The Church is NOT synonymous with religiosity or religious persons. Nor, are religious persons synonymous with devoted followers of Jesus. I submit to you this scripture:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23 »»
Every single one of us are created to receive and reciprocate love. We desire intimacy with those we love. Including Abba. He wants to be a recipient of our love. Our flawed and messy, imperfect love is something He wants to experience. This Divine romance is
not a one-way street.
This morning, Jesus asked me if I trust Him.
“Of course,” I said, “why you do think I don’t?
Because you aren’t walking in the freedom that trusting Me produces.”
I felt His heartbreak as He acknowledged that I don’t have as much faith in Him as I thought I did. His heart broke for the simple fact that I doubted His love for me. The goodness of His love.
I stumbled across this verse a few minutes later. It revealed the selfless, sacrificial and committed love between the Bride and her Bridegroom.
I’ve made up my mind. Until the darkness disappears and the dawn has fully come, in spite of shadows and fears, I will go to the mountaintop with you- the mountain of suffering love and the hill of burning incense. Yes, I will be your bride. SOS 4:6
In that moment I knew Jesus was asking me to place the entirety of my trust back in Him: the trust that I allowed fear to rob me of; the trusting that He will lead me into victory, and that He is a Good Shepherd. He wasn’t ignoring the shadows I was facing or my fears. Instead He was gently reminding me that if I let Him, He will love me and protect me wherever we go and that my well-being is a priority to Him.
The Bride said, “I will go to the mountaintop with you – the mountain of suffering love and hill of burning incense.”
Jesus told me this Love will cost me something: my life. my ways. my thoughts. my behaviors. Just as it did Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.
But He also said this Love will extinguish fears, anxiety, depression, stagnation and dullness if I give myself fully to Him and His ways.
*I feel like it’s important to note that Jesus already demonstrated His love and devotion to us that day on Calvary and is ‹more than worthy› of our commitment to Him.*
My point in sharing this with you is this:
Jesus loves you. In a very real way. In a beautiful and passionate way.
No, it doesn’t make sense. Why He loves us or the way He loves us – it doesn’t make any sense. But isn’t that the beauty of romance? That even if you don’t see your beauty He always does? That even when you fall apart in front of Him, He doesn’t leave you but wipes your tears and holds you close? That no matter what you do, He is always there with open arms and UNFAILING love for you. He will ALWAYS choose YOU. Always. No debate. There is nothing you can do to lose His love for you.
It is a scandal that the God of the universe chose YOU to call His own. Embrace it. Let Jesus romance you this Christmas season… It might even be His birthday wish.
Let’s celebrate the Creator and Lover of our souls this holiday season in remembrance of all He has done and how worthy He is of our praise (and trust).