“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
The Greatest Expression of Love
In two days, many in the United States will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is now observed in many countries as a day celebrating love and affection. Though the date may be different in different places, in most cases it has become a day on which gifts are given as expressions of love.
Common expressions of love include cards, flowers, and heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates. Sometimes these gestures are empty of real meaning. A grade school student may give cards to everyone in her class, regardless of how she feels about the individual members. An adult may give a gift, not because he really wants to, but because that is what everyone does on Valentine’s Day. More often these gestures are true expressions of love and affection, and those for whom we do such things are those for whom we would do even greater things.
If it came right down to it, who of you wouldn’t give your life for those you love? Your spouse. Your child. Your dear friend. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Life is the greatest expression of love one human being can offer for another.
For Jesus, the Son of God, the greatest expression of love goes even farther. He didn’t just send you a card—though he did give you an unsurpassed love letter in his Word. He didn’t just get you flowers—though he does hold out to you the beauties of creation and the bounties of the earth. He didn’t just give you a box of chocolates—though he does open his heart so that you may taste and see that the Lord is good. Jesus gave more; even more than a human life. Jesus gave his perfect life for you. Jesus shed his holy blood for you. Jesus endured the agony of hell for you. And now Jesus lives for you.
In so many ways and with infinite depth Jesus’ love surpasses yours and mine. Praise God that his greatest expression of love has made you a child of God. It has prepared you for life to come, and it empowers you to truly love those around you.
Dear Lord, thank you for extending the greatest expression of love to me. May I live in the love of Jesus today and always! Amen.