“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (NKJV)
“He fell upon his neck and kissed him.” This I can understand by experience, but it is too wonderful for me to explain . . . I can understand how God manifests his love to a soul that is washed in Jesus’ blood, and knows it; but how he could fall upon the neck of a foul, filthy sinner as such! There it is—not as sanctified, not as having anything good in himself, but as nothing but a filthy, foul, desperate rebel, God falls upon his neck and kisses him. Oh! Strange miracle of love! The riddle is unriddled when you recollect that God never had looked upon that sinner, as he was in himself, but had always looked upon him as he was in Christ; and when fell upon that prodigal’s neck, he did in effect only fall upon the neck of his once-suffering Son, Jesus Christ, and he kissed the sinner because he saw him in Christ, and therefore did not see the sinner’s loathsomeness, but saw only Christ’s comeliness, and therefore kissed him as he would have kissed his substitute.- Charles H. Spurgeon
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV).
This is one of the most popular verses in the Bible; not only known to Christians but society as a whole. This is that verse you just know by default even though you did not go to Sunday school. It is that verse most people would label, ‘cliché’, been there done that lets move on. It seems overdone. A while back, I read the verse and I felt like I was encountering it for the first time. The first part of the two-fold sentence stood out for me.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
Jesus was addressing Nicodemus when He said this. God was and still is this Intrinsic, Infinite, Powerful, Mighty and Revered being and He was a God that loved His people. From the ungrateful children of Israel, to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, the folks who built the tower of babel, to the Kings of Israel, the self-righteous Pharisees to the men who spat and mocked Jesus, the murderer Barabbas right up to the thief at the cross. God loved them. If God only loved a specific set of people, the introductory phrase of John 3:16 would be different, but it says, For God so loved the world and He did not just love the world. He SO loved. He abundantly, greatly, exceedingly loved.
THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
For the wages of sin is death and God is not man that He should lie. The penalty for man’s sin had to be paid for two cannot walk together unless they agree and light and darkness cannot co-exist. Therefore, God in His love made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. All our sin was punished in the person of Jesus Christ. Past. Present. Future.
Can anyone begin to imagine every killing and every rape. Every war, genocide and act of slavery, every imprisonment and greed. Every wife ever slapped, every child ever molested, every father abandoned and mother cheated on, every cry uttered and tear wept, every pencil stolen. Every cancer, disease, betrayal, fear, frustration. Every drop of blood spilled. Everything written in sin and painted in all the agony that is its result. Every inch of it descended and caved it on Christ on that crucifixion day. Jesus paid that dept. That’s the price He relinquished for our sin. That’s the race He bled to complete. A death that reached out of heaven, and extended a relationship to us.
HE KNOWS YOUR NAME
There are times in my walk of salvation when I feel like an insignificant statistic as if God forgot I exist. I do not know if you have felt so before and believed that lie, or you are in that state now. What I am aware of now is God loves you. With an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
2nd Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(NKJV)
We are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. When God sees us, He sees Christ. One thing we can be sure of is that God the father and Jesus the son never grow apart. God is irresistibly and intrinsically connected to His son and so is He with us. By the time, God comes to knowing the number of hair on your head He must surely know your name and that is just crazy, amazing and obsessive love. God is that crazy parent who shouts and cheers at his/her child’s football game and probably has a jersey written ‘I LOVE MY KID’ and even when they do not score a goal He is busy shouting, “THAT’S MY KID.!” God is that parent who loves their child to embarrassment. The one who does not know boundaries.
We do not have to be worried that we are not lovable or good enough for God’s love. What it really comes down to is your willingness to lay down your excessive obsession with yourself and your deeds, abilities and inabilities and simply receive through grace what God has offered you- His love. For His love is relentless. Unending. Unstoppable.
God on the neck of a sinner! What a wonderful picture! Can you conceive it? If you cannot imagine it, I hope that you will realize it. When God’s arm is about our neck, and his lips are on our cheek, kissing much, then we understand more than preachers or books can ever tell us of his condescending love-Charles H. Spurgeon