“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
Holy Saturday. The day that Jesus’ body lay in the grave, but NOT Jesus’ spirit. 1st Peter 3:18-20 tells us Jesus died and then made alive by the Spirit went and preached to the spirits in prison. I don’t pretend to understand this scripture, but I love the picture of our Lord alive and active even while his body lay on cold hard stone. Death could not defeat him.
Today I pondered the love of Jesus, the love that moved him to persevere, to obey even unto death. A love first for the Father and then for us! It can be hard for me to even begin to understand that kind of love. But something caused me to look at his love from the other side, like looking at a photographic negative. Today I was feeling overwhelmed by the immensity of sin and attendant hurt that I see around me. Some of that hurt is the result of sin as it has impacted creation, the natural consequence of the fall. Romans 8:19&20 tells us that even creation is waiting to be liberated from bondage to decay. Some of that hurt is a direct wound from a sin choice and some is collateral damage related to another’s sin choice. In some ways it matters little, sin causes death and deep pain. There are days when the awareness of pain feels like a place of drowning. There is just so much. And if I extrapolate that pain from my little place and time in our world to a whole world throughout all of the years of the whole world, well, I can’t breathe. And this, this incredible, impossible volume of sin and pain and loss and brokenness, this is what Jesus took to the cross. The whole of it. What agony.
This immensity gave me the beginnings of an understanding of his love. His love is big enough to overcome sin. His love is wide enough and long enough and high enough and deep enough to cover not just my sin but all sin, for all the world, for all of time. In him, in this love, I live and move and breathe and have my being. And now with Paul I pray that we might have the power, together, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, to know this love that surpasses knowledge!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!