Question: Why did Jesus die?
Answer: To show us the furious love of God.
In the Ragamuffin Gospel Brennen Manning explains, “God is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us. He is the only God who loves sinners. False gods — the gods of human manufacturing — despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central tenant of Christianity stands: through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His Beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace.”
It says in James 1:17 that there is no shadow of turning with God. This means God loves us in a way that never changes. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. His love for us has no beginning and no end. It can’t be rained out or over turned by the Supreme Court. His love has only one way to exist — furious!
We may be sure that whatever changes there may be in human affairs; whatever reverses we may undergo; whatever oceans we may cross, or whatever mountains we may climb, or in whatever worlds we may hereafter take up our abode, God is the same.
This concept of furious love has burned in my soul for years now. I see this in Luke 15 (the prodigal son parable) one question arises and that is, when did the Father love the prodigal son? The answer is; he never stopped loving him. He loved him before he was born. He loved him when he cried all night, messed up his diapers and left teeth marks on the good furniture. He loved him when he threw more food on the floor than he ate. He loved him flying kites, and wrestling with puppies. He loved him when he was close to the father and obedient. He loved him when he became an adolescent and started being distant with new values and friends. He loved him when he stormed out of the house saying, “I hate you and I will never come back.”
He loved him when he fell into shameful sin and wanton excess. He loved him when he was hated, sick, empty, friendless and alone. He loved him the day he swallowed the bitter pill of pride and turned for home. He loved him every struggling step of the way on the journey home. He loved him when he arrived at home pitiful and beaten. He loved him all the time just the same.
The Father’s love for the Prodigal was a furious love that was not moody or capricious; it knew no seasons of change. The Father’s love had a single relentless stance toward the prodigal: He loved him. He didn’t just love him a little — he loved him with ferocity that only God can.
We as followers of Christ are called to love like Jesus did. Unconditional furious love is not easy but imagine what our community would be like if we practiced this on a regular basis.
Romans 5:6-8 “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. God’s love is not deserved. It just demands that we take it like it is, because he takes us like we are.”
Pastor AL Weeks and his family serve in First Baptist Church of Kenai. The folks at First Baptist Church of Kenai are a warm fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Join them Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.