Words of Hope: Can Love Exist Without Sacrifice?
During our mealtime conversation, my husband Shann asked how the idea of God sacrificing His son on our behalf moves us? It is a profound consideration. If there is a God, what are the attributes of this deity? After I listened to a 398-hour long podcast on Rome, I know what many people would have answered during Jesus’ time. Deities were described as all-powerful, distant, and far from the daily rabble. The Caesars, starting with Julius, all claimed to be deities, the son of God. They were benevolent but also ruthless, to be feared and to be adored.
Jesus entered the world born in a manager. He washed people’s feet, he sat in the dirt, he spent time in one of the most backwater, uncouth towns in all of Israel, he spoke with, hung out with, and befriended women. This must be the most revolutionary person to walk the earth. No one spoke of loving our enemies as He did. Before Christianity, no one was called brother or sister who was not a blood relative or member of the same family or community group, or tribe.
As we talked into the night we contemplated if love could exist without sacrifice. The unanimous answer was no. Sacrifice is a foundation of love and God as love means sacrifice is a prerogative. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” Jesus, friend of sinners, dying to reconcile all those who believe. Love reconciled through sacrifice. Reconciliation to Love by Love. Is there anything more beautiful and wonderous than this?
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. – John 15:12