We are approaching that time in the year when the shops fill up with cards covered in red hearts, when we are surrounded by adverts of what expensive items we could buy for the loved one in our lives, and when the price of red roses increases significantly. While Valentine’s Day might be a success for companies selling greeting cards and chocolate, we all know that in truth there is rather more to genuine love than this.
On the night before he was killed, Jesus talked with his disciples. He told them about real love:
Jesus showed his great love for his first disciples and us in dying for us. Jesus laid down his own life, to save the lives of those he loved. He died in the place of his people. Jesus is the Son of God, and so he could at any time have escaped from the events that led to his death. He willingly gave up his own life, as part of a mission to rescue and save us.
The Bible is clear that we owe God our Creator everything – but most of the time we give him very little of the devotion and praise he deserves. The Bible tells us the hard truth that in God’s sight we deserve to be rejected. Yet God sends his Son, and Jesus willingly comes and lays down his life in order that we can receive the eternal life he deserves.
Jesus’ love is so great that it is impossible to fully grasp it. The apostle Paul, writing to some Christian believers in Ephesus, prays that they may know more of Christ’s love:
Christ showed his immense love not with a card or some chocolates, but by dying to save his people. As we look at the cross we can see the greatness of his love – yet this love is so great as to surpass knowledge.