The greatest love you can know is when someone lays down his life for you (John 15:13). Especially when you were an enemy when he laid his life down for you (Romans 5:10).
And that’s when Jesus laid his life down for you (1 John 3:16),
on a Roman cross of torture (Philippians 2:8),
to bear the guilt of your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3),
and pay your debt of infinite offense against a holy God (Colossians 2:14).
So while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8),
he who had never known sin became sin for you (2 Corinthians 5:21),
so you could become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21),
and become God’s friend (John 15:14),
and live with him forever (John 3:16)
and see his glory (John 17:24),
and experience full joy and eternal pleasures (Psalm 16:11).
There is no greater love for you than this. And God wants you to know this love that extends way beyond your capacity to comprehend (Ephesians 3:19).
Oh yes! He wants you to know his love. But it is not a love that you can gauge by how you feel today, or by the state of your health, or by the amount of your wealth, or by how well people speak of you, or how gifted you are, or whether your dreams of marriage or career or parenting are coming true, or whether your church is growing, or how many likes you get on Facebook, or any other achievement.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). That’s where God shows his love for you (Romans 5:8). If you begin there and work backwards, realizing that this free gift of love has purchased for you everything you will ever need (Philippians 4:19), in fact, everything period (2 Corinthians 6:10), then whether you abound or experience want (Philippians 4:12) you will see it all working for your holiness (Hebrews 12:10) and your ultimate good (Romans 8:28) and revel in the truth that nothing can separate you from the love of God for us in Jesus (Romans 8:39).
To Know His Love
That’s what Passion Week is for; that you might remember and more deeply know how much God has loved you — so much that he gave his only Son for you (John 3:16). And we’ve created this booklet of brief meditations titled Love to the Uttermost, written by John Piper and edited by Tony Reinke, to help you focus each day of Holy Week on God’s unfathomable love for you.
Come, this Easter, press into knowing the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, which has saved you to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).
Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week is available in three electronic formats, free of charge, and in a low-cost, on-demand paperback. Holy Week, 2014, begins next Sunday, April 13.