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Here is Love

About a week ago a man died in a car accident. When I hear that I typically think, “Wow! That's terrible,” and I feel sorry for them and then I move on with my day. But when I hear that it's the father of people close to me, it hits a lot closer to home. I can see the effects of his passing throughout many people’s lives. Over time though the pain will fade, and given enough time, eventually the memory of the man will also fade.

About 2000 years ago, a man died being nailed to a tree. Sounds terrible when you hear it, but there've been lots of people who have been crucified before. But there's a reason we don't just move on with our day when we hear about it. Why are we even here? Why do we try to remember a man we weren't alive to see?

Because we owe this man our life.

Because this man was flawless, and He died on purpose instead of us.

Because He loved us.

We know that Jesus was a man, but He was no ordinary man. We can see the effects of His passing ripple through time. It affects so many people. We will not forget Him. There's a difference between His death and the death of a man in the car wreck or the deaths of everyone else that's ever died. Death could not hold Him. This man, this Jewish carpenter, did what no one else could do: He defeated death.

This memorial of His death would not have meaning unless He rose from the grave. 1 Corinthians 15.16-21 says:

16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

It is because of this man that we have hope. And if we put our hope in Him and truly follow Him, we will not regret it.

One final important difference to note between the death of Jesus and another death is the love involved. No one has ever loved more than Jesus has loved. He sacrificed Himself to save the world. And we're desensitized from people sacrificing themselves for the sake of the whole world because of movies. Sci-fi movies. That happens all the time. But Jesus actually did that. He did it in a much different way, but He made salvation available to all.

I’d like us to consider the lyrics from of one of my favorite hymns titled “Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean.” I hope this will help put us in the right frame of mind as we consider the love that this man showed to us.

Here is love, vast as the ocean,

Lovingkindness as the flood;

When the Prince of Life my ransom,

Shed for me His precious blood.

Who His love will not remember?

Who can cease to sing His praise?

He shall never be forgotten,

Through heav’n’s everlasting days.

On the mount of crucifixion,

Fountains opened deep and wide;

Thro’ the flood gates of God’s mercy

Flow’d the vast and gracious tide;

Grace and love like mighty rivers

Pour’d incessant from above,

And heav’n’s peace and perfect justice

Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,

Love Thee ever all my days;

Let me seek Thy Kingdom only

And my life be to Thy praise;

Here is love.