17th April 2018

The Greatest Symbol of Love

“He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.”
Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV)

The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World for reasons more than just looking magnificent! Because if it had not been for love it would never have existed. It’s a very special example of how deeply a man loved his wife, that even after she died, he made sure that her memory would never fade away. I happened to watch an episode of Michael Portillo’s train journey around India recently which included his visit to this great monument. During his interview with a guide to the Taj Mahal he was informed that the building was, quote, “The greatest symbol of love for the world.” And it is certainly that—built entirely of white marble with reflecting pools of water to display its glory to the full.

But, with respect, I’d like to write about another even greater symbol of love for the world. It was manifested on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem. There, Jesus was crucified for all to see, offered up—handed over to set humanity free from sin and to reconcile us to our Heavenly Father. This was never a knee-jerk reaction to humanities wayward ways—this sacrificial death had been planned from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). It was a plan put together in an orderly and precise way, because of love.

You remember the verse in John 3:16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” These are the very words of Jesus as he communicates with a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin council. The apostle John also records in his first letter that “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us” (1 John 3:16 NLT) This symbol, this man on a cross, declares God’s love for us—as one modern hymn puts it “You took the fall and thought of me above all!”

Without incredible love we would never have the majestic Taj Mahal in India which causes visitors to gaze on and marvel at the amazing love that brought it about. And you know, without this sacrificial death of Jesus, offered up because of a love that knows no bounds, amazing love that never fails and never gives up on us, we would not have life everlasting. As a result of this amazing love, we humans have a far greater “Symbol of love for the world!” Someone who died in our stead because we were not able to pay the price on our own! So we, too, can gaze and wonder, shaking our heads in amazement at such a precious price that was paid to rescue us This memory though will never fade away! 

Prayer
Father, help us to plumb the depths of your precious love for us as we gaze on the cross of Christ, and offer up our thanks to you.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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