The Easter narrative is a love story. Not in the Hollywood sense of a sappy tale of two star-crossed lovers who come together through some unpredictable twist of fate, but as a story of an all-powerful God providing a way for humanity to be reconciled to him. Often we focus on Jesus’ horrific death on the cross and express our utter amazement at his willingness to pay the price for our sins. What can get lost, however, is the plan of salvation that God enacted 2000 years ago; the plan that saw him devise and carry out this act of love towards people who were far from him.
The story of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10 is a microcosm of God’s sovereign plan. In the exchange between Jesus and the man, the dialogue focuses on a common contemporary impulse which sees people convince themselves that God would surely accept them due to their good deeds. “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy,” was the man’s response in verse 20 to Jesus’ challenge to obey the commandments. In other words, “I am a good person and I should inherit eternal life.”
Jesus’ response is so powerful! He looked upon the man with love despite such a misguided view of God’s mercy. Jesus didn’t call him a fool, naive, or off base — all of which would have been perfectly reasonable responses. He loved him . . . he loved him. Such a simple phrase and yet, so astounding.
Is that how God looks at people today? Absolutely! He has provided a way out of the despair of our sin and longingly waits for us to turn to him and accept his forgiveness. He acknowledges our misguided attempts to understand this love and what is required of us. He doesn’t force his way on us like a vengeful man whose efforts to woo a desirable woman are spurned. He simply accepts our intentions and patiently draws us to himself.
God, all-powerful Creator, I thank you that you love me and that you made a way for me to be reconciled to you. I could never have satisfied this longing for eternal intimacy on my own but you know me and my deepest desires.
Throughout This Day: Take time to wonder at God’s love for you as demonstrated by Jesus.
Photo Credit: Aleksandr Khomenko on Unsplash