v 16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.
There is a whole raft of stories in which one person dies in order to bring about the safe rescue of many others. On the battlefield, VCs have been won that way. The Jesus-story has the same elements; one man gives up his life voluntarily in order to save many others. There is one major difference however; the rescue Jesus brought about opened the door for many to enjoy eternal life. It was more than saving people from an eternal destiny apart from God, it brought about reconciliation between the totally unimaginable holy God, and a whole creation that had gone off the rails in sin. It cost Jesus His life as He suffered the penalty of our sin, and that, writes the Apostle John, is evidence of real love. It was not nails that kept Him on the cross, it was His love. Jesus’ death, and His power to rescue us through that will forever remain an extraordinary mystery; why should the Son of God allow Himself to suffer in my place? How can the self-sacrificial death of One result in eternal life for many?
The mechanics of it are utterly incomprehensible, but this one thing, LOVE, shouts from the rooftops. Love is the empowering motive that brought Jesus to this tiny planet, and then to a cross on a hillside outside Jerusalem. But for all the mystery surrounding it, please note the conclusion that John draws from it. Our love for others should, however palely, reflect the love God has shown us.
Love for others that has this self-sacrificing quality, is the love to which Our Heavenly Father calls us in a world in which there is a desperate shortage of real love. How will you show your love for others in the course of today?