by Tiffany Miller
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I especially enjoy love stories. I’m not sure what it is- the setting, dramatic plot, bold declarations of love- but something about them pulls me in. It’s even better when it makes me cry. The first time I read my favorite series, I cried so hard that I had a headache for three days. True story.
I also find myself incredibly moved during kids movies (hey, it’s my stage of life right now- don’t judge) such as Toy Story 3, Big Hero Six, and most recently, Inside Out. There is a pivotal point in each of these movies where one character makes a huge sacrifice for someone they love. And I can’t help it. I cry every single time.
With Valentine’s Day being days away, I’ve been thinking about love quite a bit and began to wonder why these stories and movies make me so emotional. Sure, the buildup and dramatic music can be partly to blame, but it’s the deed that makes my tears flow. The act of sacrifice is what touches the deepest parts of my soul.
Jesus himself explains it in John 15:13:
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Sacrifice, especially one that demands giving up one’s life, is powerful. It can move the hardest of hearts. And this was the very reason Jesus had come to Earth: to be the ultimate and perfect sacrifice so that we may live.
The entire Bible is a beautiful, complicated, and messy love letter from God to his children. God created man and woman and for a short time, enjoyed fellowship with them as He originally intended. When they fell, He didn’t leave them for dead and move on to His next “project”. He remained faithful to His people when they are continuously unfaithful to Him. He saved them from their enemies, provided for their every need, and taught them hard lessons they must learn to grow.
Eventually, God made the greatest act of love in order to restore to His children what had been destroyed in sin.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
I know it’s a verse that many of us have known since we were children, and we can recite it without giving much thought to what the words mean. Please, for one moment, really think about it: God loves you so much that He would rather His Son die than lose you. Christ loves you so much that He volunteered to die rather than lose you. Just the possibility of you believing in Him was enough to send Him to the cross to do what needed to be done. He made the ultimate sacrifice so His children could have life.
He made that sacrifice for YOU.
He couldn’t love you more. He’ll never love you less. This isn’t some fictional story that you can put down or turn off. It’s not a bundle of lies you’ve been told over and over from someone you trusted. God is crazy about you, and He will pursue you with a love that will never give up or disappoint. He is unrelenting, and there is absolutely nothing you can do that will change His mind. If He loved you enough to die a horribly painful death, do you really think He’s going to give up on you now? Of course not. You are His beloved daughter.
This morning I heard a song on the radio that describes the length which Jesus is willing to go for you, and I’ve shared it below. I’ll say it again: He is crazy about you! The way He pursues, forgives, perfects… the sacrifice He made for you is the greatest love story ever told.