Have you seen this scene before? A young bride and groom gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes. It’s a beautiful wedding day! The couple is full of hope, eager for their future. The pastor reads, the words from 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind . . .” Familiar words, right? Perhaps this passage was even read at your own wedding. You may have thought that these words were originally written for married couples. You probably hoped that you would always have such a perfect love. However, if you’ve been married for some time or know people who have been married for a while, you surely know that such perfect love is impossible to maintain.
Marriage, however, wasn’t exactly what Paul was talking about when he wrote this text. This text was originally intended for perhaps the most dysfunctional, loveless congregation in the Bible! The Corinthian church was full of sexual immorality, division even lawsuits! They truly were a congregation that had forgotten what it meant to be loved by Jesus and to love others! Fortunately, God’s Word shows us a more excellent way:
These words, “Love is patient, love is kind…” set a standard that none of us can keep. Would anyone boast that he or she has perfect love? Have you ever been angry? Have you ever held a grudge? Have you ever lost your patience? That’s just one verse! I could go on! The truth is that the only one who can love like this is Jesus. When we compare our love to Jesus’ perfect love, we find out how self-centered, and imperfect our love truly is.
It was on the cross where Jesus demonstrated His perfect love for you. It was on the cross where Jesus’ love for you, “bore all things and endured all things”. It was Jesus alone who “did not insist on his own way.” Jesus refused to resent those who sinned against him so greatly, but prayed, “Father, forgive them.” Praise God that the cross of Jesus reveals not only our sinful love but much more his forgiving, perfect love!
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). And that is what He did. Jesus laid down his life for his friends, for you and for me. It was on the cross that Jesus, the Son of God, showed once and for all that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Jesus was crucified that we might be forgiven. “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus does not love you because you are spotless and without sin. Jesus loves you so that he might make you perfect! Now Jesus calls each one of us to “love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
The love that Jesus brings you is a perfect love. And it is a love that we can share with others in our daily life. It’s a love that enables us to forgive others, because we have been forgiven by Jesus!
Sharing the love of Jesus!