Over two thousand years ago, a woman—a prostitute—boldly disrupted a dinner attended by a roomful of religious men. Pressing past social and religious norms, ignoring the discomfort and shame, she stood behind a man, her Savior, and wept so greatly that she made His feet wet with her tears (Luke 7:36-38).
This was true emotion indeed.
This was true love indeed.
Rebels push back against outdated stigmas and social mores, but no rebellion arose here. This “woman of the city,” as Luke called her, was driven by a force she could no longer deny: the overwhelming love of the God she had not known. She had witnessed that love in action when Jesus ministered to the sick, the lame, and the blind. Perhaps she had watched in wonder as He forgave the woman taken in adultery. The Holy Spirit convinced her in those moments that the divine love she needed and longed for was resident in this Man. Nothing, including her own personal humiliation, would keep her away.
God’s love, once known, once experienced, is irresistible. It compels us to come to Him.
God’s Love for Those He Created
The Lord God Almighty created human beings in the image of Himself, a holy and perfect God, without evil, perversion, or betrayal. Not long after He did so, the people He created began to engage in the most heinous deeds imaginable. They hated, killed, raped, and burned alive those whom He had knitted together in their mothers’ wombs. They took advantage of the weak and vulnerable, crushing their necks under their feet. Soon, His human creations told Him they did not believe Him; some even proclaimed that He did not even exist. Others blasphemed His name, trampling it in the mud as if it were dung. Multitudes foolishly worshiped lifeless idols of metal, wood, and stone. What should this all-powerful God do? He regretted He even created them and subsequently punished them. Nevertheless, for millennia His own creations continued to ignore and rebel against Him. Eventually, He revealed His exquisite, incomprehensible solution: He Himself would die for their terrible sins and unbelief, absorbing the punishment He could have poured out upon them for the rejection of their Creator.
This He did in Jesus. All sins may be forgiven. The slate can be wiped clean. We may now know Him and fellowship with Him. Once unholy sinners, believers in Jesus Christ have been given His righteousness, the righteousness of God Himself.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).1
However, that is not all. These horrible, debased ones—He adopts them. He brings them into His family. He makes these fallen creations, of all improbable things, His sons and daughters. He gives them a share in the inheritance He has for His only Son, the One who is holy and full of glory.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5).
What they deserved—punishment—He took into Himself. He was mocked. Whipped. Executed like a despised murderer, fastened to a cross with cruel iron spikes. Slaughtered like a helpless—lamb.
What His creations did not deserve—His nature, His holy righteousness, His possessions—He gave to them.
This is what the Almighty God did.
This is why we love Him.
This is why we serve Him.
This is why we obey Him.
1All Scripture quotations from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.