Cruciform Love

Cruciform Love
Jesus’ death on the cross was and always has been Plan A.  

God’s love for the world began before the world was ever created.  He created the world from an abundance, outpouring, overflow, cascade of love as we can only imagine. Our finite minds cannot hold the infinite God, yet we see the details of creation, the minutiae, the grandeur, and all that exists in between, before time and in all time, as an expression of God’s great love.  And the cross is an extension of that love.  Cruciform love is love in the shape of a cross, the cross of Christ.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post on the Hebrew word hesed. It’s a complex word, pregnant with meaning, often simply translated as love (which it is). Hesed relates the unchanging nature of God, stemming from agape, self-sacrificial, love.  This Hebrew word appears over 250 times in the Old Testament and is often translated lovingkindness (and 169 other ways), but also encompasses loyalty, faithfulness, kindness, grace, and mercy.

Often in our consumer-driven, transactional society, we feel as though we must feed the vending machine of heaven with quarters (or debit cards) of our prayers, devotional times, and “holy” acts.  We expect that we get out what we put in.  We feel closer to God when we make deposits to our heavenly ledger, forgetting that our relationship with God is based on who He is rather than who we are. For indeed, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

The hesed of God offers us protection and is based solely on God’s character and his relationship with us as His children.  John Mark Comer describes hesed as, “The person from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything.” This eternal goodness and lovingkindness, according to Katharine Sakenfeld, cannot be bribed our coerced – it is freely given. It is essential to who God is and cannot be changed.

What a beautiful gift, a never-ending treasure, to be loved by God in all circumstances, especially those in which we least deserve it. Such cruciform love.

Father, help us to live in the fullness of your love and forgiveness as we seek to follow you in all that we do. Amen




No Comments


Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

10000 Reasons 2 Corinthians 3 A People in Decline Aaron Shust Abandoned Acts 2 Acts Alabaster Jar Alert Annointing Anointing Asleep Awareness Aware Awe Bach Barabbas Barrabbas Be Courageous Be Strong Benjamin West Bible Project Blessing Bonhoeffer Caesar Character of God Christ's Return Christina Rossetti Context Cost Crowds Crown of Thorns Crucified Current Events Denial Discipleship Ears Easter Economy Empty tomb End of World Examen Exodus Eyes Fall of Icarus False Glory Forskaen Garden of Gethsemane Gethsemane God Story God's Will God\'s Will God\\\'s Will God Good Friday Gospels Grace Discipleshio Handed Over Handel's Messiah Handel\'s Messiah He's Not Finished He\'s Not Finished Head and Heart High Priest Holy Saturday Holy Spirit Holy Week How Will You Respond? Hymn I AM Injustice Introduction Isaiah 11 Isaiah 1 Isaiah 2 Isaiah 3 Isaiah 4 Isaiah 5 Isaiah 6 Isaiah 9-12 Isaiah Jan Richardson Jen Rose Yokel Jesus' Coming Jesus John 5 John Wesley Jordan Joshua 1 Joshua Keep My Word Kingdom of God Kingdom Last Supper Lord's Supper Love Malcolm Guite Man of Sorrows Mark 13 Mark 14 Mark 15 Martin Luther Mary Oliver Matt Redman Matthew 28 Maundy Thursday Memorial Mocking Music New Kingdom Nicolai Not Done Yet Online Resources Open the Eyes of My Heart Overview Painting Palm Sunday Passion Passover Peter James John Peter Pictures of Temple Pilate Poem Poetry Poor Power of God Praise Presence of God Propoganda Prudence Psalm 22 Reading Plan Redeemer Reflection Remember Resurrection Richard Foster Robert Hayden Rossetti Sacrifice Sanhedrin Sarah Clarkson Servant Signs Silence Sonnet Soul Care Spiritual Spoken Word Stafford Stations of the Cross Stay With Me Sweetly Broken Temple destruction Temple The Dream of the Rood The Proud Will Be Humbled Tim Keller Triumphal Entry Trusting God Uphill Video Watch Weekly Examen What is Important Who am I? Who is God? William Stafford anger attention awake belong challenge cross cruciform delusional disciples give hesed led astray money offering poverty prayer tax tenants truth widow