"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.John 15:9(NASB)
Despite the simplicity of His statement and the brevity of His instruction, the command Christ gave His disciples, just before His walk to the cross, is one of the most profound pronouncements ever voiced in the history of the human race. "Just as the Father has loved Me," He told them, "so I have also loved you - abide in My love." The apparent simplicity of the text, only serves to magnify its transcendent significance.
The love about which the Lord Jesus was speaking was not the ordinary love that flows from the heart of a human soul. He was not speaking of a mother's love for her newborn, a husband's love for his bride, or the patriot's love for his country. The reciprocated love of the Father and the Son is unfathomable in human terms, for it has no beginning and will never end. It spans from eternity past into the eternal ages to come.
The Father's love of the Son, and the Son's corresponding love toward His Father is fathomless and unchangeable. It is an inexhaustible love.... an immutable love that knows no limits and has no boundaries, for it is an unfading love without measure, reaching beyond the extremity of everything. The mutual love of the eternal Father and His beloved Son is inestimable, bottomless, fathomless, unceasing, unflagging, interminable, constant, and pure.
As we consider the never-ending love that flows throughout the Godhead, we can recognise that this is not a love that we ourselves could comprehend, for we are fallen creatures who are limited in our understanding and whose paltry love can fluctuate with time and change with the seasons. We are surrounded by the ebb and flow of human emotions, where love can grow cold, relationships can become tired, and ardour can subside as circumstances march on.
Yet the deep and incredible love the Father has for His Son is the same deep and incredible love that Jesus has for His people - for YOU and for ME! He made a point of telling His disciples that His love for us is as passionate and full and glorious and unending as the love that flows between Him and His Father, "Just as the Father has loved Me, SO I have also loved you..." The way that God the Father adores His beloved Son is exactly the say way that Jesus treasures each of US. He loves us with a love that is inestimable, bottomless, fathomless, unceasing, unflagging, interminable, constant, and pure.
Surely there is nothing that should excite our hearts more readily than the knowledge that we are loved so deeply by God Himself - in the person of Jesus Christ - the Word made flesh. For love of US, Jesus chose to be born into His own creation, so that He could pay the price for our sin, by being nailed to the cross in our place. This is the sort of love that baffles the human mind for this is the sort of love that fallen humanity is incapable of reproducing.
AND YET - Christ finished his brief statement with one, simple instruction for each of us, "abide in My love." We are to remain in His incredible love and rest in His unfathomable love. We are to allow the deep, deep love of Christ for us, to penetrate every fibre of our being - and soak into every sinew of our understanding.
Christ knows the only way to live a victorious life is to abide in His love. The only way to overcome the pressures and pain that pursue each one of us is to abide in Him, to remain in Him, to rest in His love. Just as the branch of a vine remains healthy and strong as it remains attached to the great vine that provides its nourishment, so we will remain spiritually healthy and strong as we remain in Christ - the True Vine, and abide in His love.
When we abide in Him, we discover His love is stronger than life and more powerful than death. Only as we abide in Him and remain connected to Him, can we draw from His wisdom and strength, His power and grace, His truth and holiness, His peace and His joy. Only as we abide in Christ, can we access all we need for life and godliness.
Jesus made a simple statement to His disciples and gave them one brief instruction, that would transform the lives of ALL who trust in Him. If only we would listen to His voice and obey His call! "As the Father has loved Me, so I have also loved you - abide in My love." If we who are saved by grace through faith in Him would take to heart this simple truth and obey Christ's simple command to "Abide in my love", we would discover its transcendent significance and its unfathomable benefit.
Dear Heavenly Father, it is both thrilling and humbling to know that Christ loves the Church with the same profound passion that the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. Although I have read this statement many times, that just as the Father has loved Christ, He also loves me, it staggers my mind to realise how deeply I am loved by You, and Jesus Christ, Whom You sent to be the propitiation for my sin. I pray that I would learn to abide in His love moment by moment and day by day. Keep me ever looking to Jesus and resting in His love. This I ask in His precious name, AMEN.