In the middle of His final meal with His disciples, Jesus makes a remarkable statement:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
According to Jesus, you can only fully love someone if you’re willing to die for them. While that might seem fairly straight-forward, it raises an interesting question: How do I know God loves me? Think about it: God is an eternal spirit; he has no physical life he can lay down for me, so when I read in the Bible that God loves me…how can I know it’s true? If God can’t die for me how can He love me?
And to answer that we go to the most famous verse in the Bible:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God the Father can’t die for me, but God the Son can and did. God loved me enough to become a man in order to die for me. That’s a remarkable level of love. Jesus wasn’t talking about being willing to jump in front of a bus, pushing someone out of the way and dying to save them. It wasn’t about jumping in front of a bullet for someone or any other sudden, knee-jerk response. Jesus was talking about loving someone enough to take their place in death, to think about it, plan it out, wait and wait and wait until the opportunity comes and then, after lots of time to think about it and change your mind, instead going through with it and dying for someone.
That’s what God did for us. He didn’t just make a snap decision, He came in the form of Jesus in order to die.
That’s how I know God loves me.