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I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Jesus, John 17:26
Jesus wanted us to know the very love that God the Father had for Him. Not to know it academically, as if we should all sit back and say, "Oh, I see, God loves Jesus this much."
No, Jesus wants that love to be "in us." He wants us to feel it in our bones, our hearts, our souls. He wants it to so fill us that it controls our every thought and action, just as it did Christ's.
Jesus described it simply as, "The love with which You (the Father) have loved Me (the Son)."
Is this a warm-fuzzy kind of love? The kind that sends us off to a life of ease and prosperity?
Where did the Father's love send Jesus?
You see, Calvary wasn't just about loving us, though of course that's huge. But even through the scourgings, the mockings, the nails, the agonies of heart and soul, the bitter taste of death…even through all of these, the Father was loving the Son. And the Father did not love as a helpless onlooker, the way the women looked on at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:40).
God sent Jesus there. In love. God wielded the whip through human hands. God drove the nails. God left Him feeling forsaken. In love. In love. In love.
It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. (Isa 53:10 KJV)
What kind of love is that?
Do we really want to share in it?
Jesus wants us to! He said so when He prayed in the Upper Room, immediately before walking His disciples to Gethsemane where their nightmare, and His, would begin in earnest. And in that same prayer He talked more about His desire for us:
…that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. (John 17:13)
Joy? Can that possibly be compatible with the kind of love that sent Jesus to Calvary?
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:25)
Somehow, when we lose our life, we find it…and in finding it, we finally find our joy.
And where will we find our life?
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col 3:3-4)
Somehow, in a way that boggles our fleshly minds, our greatest joy comes from experiencing God's love just as the Son experienced it…even on Calvary's road. Not by experiencing things which parallel Christ's experiences, but by experiencing Christ on that road…and through Him, experiencing the Father.
…that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:26
So how was the Father's love expressed to the Son throughout His life and agony and death? And how do we experience it?