I cut some branches from a blossoming peach tree on an afternoon walk today. Just a few weeks ago that same tree was bare, naked and appeared lifeless. Now it is adorned with beautiful pink flowers foretelling the fruit that will soon appear.
He chose to hang on that tree, that cross. Naked. Bearing all.
There is no greater love.
I can experience that love, that resurrection life, that transforming life.
All because He first loved me.
“What God wants is not just behavioral compliance but loving service. The tree-command [in the garden] means: ‘Please do this commandment just because of who I am, just for me, not because it looks profitable to you. Obey me out of love.’ But we failed to love him because we believe the Lie that he doesn’t care. Here ‘the Lie’ of the serpent is not just the fount of sadness but of disobedience. We lack self-control not just because we are ‘bad’ in some general way but because we disbelieve in the love and goodness of God.
How can our hearts be changed? [Jesus] obeyed the tree-command [at the Cross] simply because of his love for his Father and for us. He obeyed not because it profited him but because it profited us. Now love God for his own sake, for the sake of his beauty and worth–because he loved you for your own sakes in Jesus.”
- Tim Keller, Preaching the Gospel in a Post-modern World (RTS Class Syllabus, Page 45)