The love of Jesus Christ is a central pillar of the Christian faith. It refers to how Jesus Christ loves humanity, the love Christians have for Jesus Christ, and the love of Christians for people around them. The love of Christ is displayed through Jesus' teachings, His followers, and His death on the cross for the salvation of humanity.
The theme of love is evident throughout Scripture. God's work of salvation is done through the blood of Christ, who sacrificed Himself based on His love for humanity and His obedience to God the Father. We can see this in Ephesians 5:1:
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Why Should We Love Like Jesus
The love of God is deeper than any ocean. It's brighter than any sun. It's the kind of love that exceeds all comprehension. In Ephesians 3:19:
And to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
We love people because God first loved us. The knowledge of Christ's love allows us to walk in the fullness of God. Jesus Christ is the rock and the cornerstone of the church. Believing in Jesus lays down the foundation to develop in the love of God. The belief in God's love helps you become a loving person.
If we did not know God's love, we would have a hard time unconditionally loving others. Everything will come with strings attached. Everything will be reciprocity-based. I would not do anything unless there is something for me in return. But once you surrender your life to God, you will never be able to separate yourself from the love of God. We can see this principle illustrated in Romans 3:37-39:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The key to God's love is through belief in the Bible. No one who is currently alive has seen Jesus heal and perform miracles with their own eyes. We did not witness these acts first-hand. However, God wants us to walk by faith, not by sight. He wants us to come to faith in the Son by seeing the love in action from those who follow Him.
How Deeply Does Jesus Love You
One of the most quoted Bible verses is John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This verse lays down the groundwork of the love of Jesus Christ. To fully understand the love of God, we should dissect His death on the cross:
1) Jesus loved humanity so much He was willing to sacrifice Himself for us. It was a brutal, humiliating, and dehumanizing death.
2) We don't deserve it. Think about it as if you were standing on the train tracks. A train was about to hit you, but someone jumped in your place and pushed you out of the way. Imagine this person being someone you disliked, perhaps even disdained.
3) Through the blood of Jesus Christ, we have eternal life. The gift He gave us is greater than anything on earth. We are spared eternal separation from God and given the fullness of heaven.
4) Jesus Christ gave Himself freely and willingly. He had a choice. He chose to die for you and me.
God's Costly Love For Us
The love of Jesus Christ is unconditional. It's not based on who you are. It's not based on what you do. It's not based on what you have. Yet, He laid it all on the line for you.
Jesus Christ lived the perfect life. He was God in the flesh. Even as the Pharisees clamored to have Jesus killed, Pilate said (John 19:6):
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
Even when He died between two robbers, one of the robbers recognized Jesus and said to the other robber (Luke 23:41):
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
Jesus was no ordinary human. He was the perfect sacrifice. He lived a sinless life. His life is and will always be the most valuable life ever lived. Still, He gave His life so we might have ours.
Jesus was the Son of God. He is as much man as He is God. His divine nature made His life of infinite value. In fact, He created us all in His image. Yet, Jesus Christ still braved the cross for us. In Luke 22:41-44:
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus did not want to go to the cross. But He obeyed His Father's will. In fact, Jesus was sweating blood when He prayed about what was going to happen to Him. This level of obedience and courage is out of this world. Can you imagine knowing that you are about to experience the worst death, all your friends will abandon you, and still praying for forgiveness for your enemies? That is love only God can understand. His sacrifice simply doesn't make sense to the human senses. But only by knowing God can we truly understand this sacrifice.
Walking Forth in Love
How will you walk forth now that you understand how deeply Jesus loves you? How personally should you feel about His sacrifice? Will you admire His feat from a distance? Or will you take on the traits of Jesus and walk in sacrificial love?
These questions might be hard to answer. In fact, they might be uncomfortable to answer. This is a very human reaction. We don't want to sacrifice our time or our money, let alone our life, to help others. We have a job to work, a life to live! That should be someone else's calling.
Consider this Bible verse in Romans 8:13:
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
To live in God's love, we must defeat our worldly desires and focus on the deep well of God's love. It is no longer you who lives, but God who lives in you (Philippians 2:13):
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Pass the good news to someone. Live life with a deep love of God and deep love for people. Let the love of God be shown to the world so they may know of the good news through the Gospel. Jesus calls all His followers to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20):
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The Holy Spirit lives in God's people. We should live by faith, knowing that we should no longer live in the flesh. Loving Christ is not easy. But it's always worth it.
The love of Jesus Christ is beyond all human understanding. The level of the sacrifice He made for us was monumental. It is a moment that changed humanity for the rest of history. To understand this love, you need to fully comprehend how big a sacrifice He made for humanity. Once you understand that, everything else will come together. Start by loving God in Christ. If you know the love of God, you will pass that love to the people you know. Live fearlessly. May you find victory through Jesus Christ.