But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Galatians 4:4-7
On my way in to work today I was thinking about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Thinking about Jesus come down from heaven. Thinking about his life and the 30 plus years he lived all to get to that moment of sacrifice and death. What kind of love lives with the sole intent of giving itself up completely for those who don’t even care or understand what’s being sacrificed?
“When the right time came…” That’s what Galatians says. When the right time came God sent his Son. When the right time came God gave up all, gave up himself. When the right time came God loved enough to subject himself and buy our freedom. He adopted us and brought us into the family; made us children and made us intimate with himself.
This is love like we can only struggle to begin comprehending. Have we ever loved without conditions? Have we ever loved without gain? Maybe for a moment. Maybe in extreme cases or with people we consider especially close. Jesus went beyond—far beyond—our sometimes and momentary love. He went beyond our “for certain people” kind of sacrificial loving. He loved all.
And I am struck by the fact that he did it at just the right time. God—who isn’t confined by time. God who is free from the bounds of time and space limited himself, held himself in these restrictions just to love us to the extent we needed loving. He gains nothing ultimately from doing this for us. I mean, yes, he gains glory for his name and relationship with us—which he wanted all along (it’s why we were created), but truly he doesn’t gain from this. It’s not as if we complete him in some way or give him what he didn’t already have.
He could have just scrapped us all and chucked the whole creating us in his image plan and just continued for all eternity forward enjoying the relationship he had from all eternity past: relationship within himself. But this isn’t what love does. Love doesn’t give because of what’s in it for the giver. Love doesn’t sacrifice and share just because it needs something from the one it loves. God simply loves because that is who he is. That is what he does. It isn’t about what he gets from it. It’s about being himself; being love.
I don’t about you, but today I am simply grateful for a love that limits itself. A love that gives without considering what it “gets” in return. I am so thankful for a God who came at just the right time and restricted himself to time.
Sometimes I feel this desire to write something “new” and come up with brilliant insights or thoughts that make people think, “Wow, I’ve never realized that; never considered that before.” (Obviously, I’m wrestling with my own desire for gain and pride.) What I’m writing here isn’t new information. These aren’t new thoughts. This isn’t ground-breaking ideas. But this is the best of thoughts I could ever write: remembering the love of God come near. Recalling the gift of a God who limits himself for our gain.
I think we could all benefit from considering it again, this love of Jesus. Reveling in a God-love that defies our rules and expectations of what power does. It should shape our lives and relationships and how we make choices. Hopefully it will begin by shaping the way we live today.