The Love of Christ (2)
The love of Christ is a theme which will engage the thoughts of the ransomed for all eternity. Never will it be forgotten, never will it be eclipsed, never will it cease to be the subject of our praise and adoration.
But already we are called to contemplate it in its preciousness as again and again the Spirit of God directs our attention to it in the pages of inspiration. Turn now to Romans 8:34-37—
“Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, which also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
“It is Christ that died.” In His love to us Christ has been into death. When we were far from God in darkness and enmity, when we loved Him not but contrariwise hated and rejected Him, He loved. And His love took Him into death that He might exhaust the judgment that was our portion and free us for ever from all that was our desert and due. His love was stronger than death. The many waters of judgment could not quench it, and the many floods of wrath and woe unutterable could not drown it.
But He is risen now. “Yea, rather is risen again,” says the Holy Spirit. In this connection He would rather engage our thoughts with a risen Christ, He would rather present Him as the Victorious One risen again for our justification, risen again where we can share with Him in life and relationship before His Father and His God. He loves us, in resurrection as He loved us in death.
“Who is even at the right hand of God.” The One who died is risen, and is exalted now to the highest place of glory. But He loves us still. He is there for us. As our Representative He has gone in, and His love will know no rest until His own are with Him there.
“Who also maketh intercession for us.” His love leads Him to present service for His own. By love He serves them in all their need. He ever intercedes for His loved ones. Knowing their weakness and need He ever prays on their behalf, drawing for them all the supplies of mercy and grace required by them while on their homeward way.
He has loved us in death, He has loved us in resurrection, He loves us in glory. He loves us in such fashion that we are ceaselessly the subjects of His present interest and intercession.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Well may the question be asked. From the depths of our evil to the very throne of God He has loved us. He loved us even when we were in our sins, and shall He not love us now that He has cleansed us from our sins? He loved us in our distance; shall He not love us now that He has brought us nigh? Shall our difficulties and trials; our weaknesses and needs, lessen His love or cause it to cease altogether? Far be the thought. These things call for and are occasion for fresh expressions of the love.
Such love cannot be altered. Such love cannot cease. He knew all that we were. He knows all that we are. Knowing all, He loved us perfectly. Knowing all, He loves us perfectly. No enemy can tell Him aught concerning us, of which He is not aware. Because He is love He loves us. He loved us at our worst, and He will love us until His love has made us all that His love can make us in glory with Himself. And there we shall be fit objects for His love to rest on with infinite complacency for ever.