The Love of Christ (1)

It is a love personal to each, common to all, and special to the church.

Each of us can say, “He loved me;” all of us can say, “He loved us;” the whole company can add, “Christ loved the church.” It is minute, constant, tender, faithful, holy. It may comfort, or it may rebuke; it may test, or it may win; but it is an “everlasting love,” and one which “passes knowledge.”

’Tis the treasure I’ve found in His love,
  That has made me a pilgrim below,

is the language of one who truly knows it. He finds in that wonderful love such a power, such an attraction, that his heart is weaned from that which once held it. It has a transforming effect on his thoughts, words, and ways. It constrains him—is the mighty inner motive—to live no longer to himself, but to Him who died for him and rose again. It detaches from old habits, severs old links; it is a power altogether new, but unspeakably blessed. It remains, because it is unchanging. Other arms may fail, other supports give way; this abides. Other hearts may become estranged, other loves grow cold, but the love of Christ is ever the same. Whom He loves He loves to the end—unremittingly.

The object of that love may possibly prove himself unworthy of it. He may fail, he may stumble; he may disappoint, he may grieve; but notwithstanding Christ’s love is unchanged. It may take the form of rebuke and chastening, but is faithful to the end. When the cloud is passed the sun is seen shining in its undimmed brilliancy. Thank God for a “Friend who loves at all times,” and this we have in our precious, ever-blessed Jesus.

Heavenly glory is His today. He fills the highest station; He who, as the Word, became flesh and dwelt amongst us—seen, handled, contemplated, revealing the Father, doing good, speaking as none other—God manifest in flesh, seen of angels, full of pity, healing the sick, receiving sinners, absolutely holy, binding the strong man, and spoiling his goods, soul-troubled in Gethsemane, bearing the curse on the tree, made sin, laid in the sepulchre, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, seated as Man at the right hand of God, coming again to receive all His own to be for ever with Himself, so that their joy shall be full and eternal.

Son of Man, Son of God, glorious Firstborn from the dead, our Redeemer, Saviour, righteousness, life, our all! How we adore and bless Thee! How we long to see Thee! How we await the earliest beams of the morning star, patiently but longingly, to find ourselves, the whole loved and blood-bought and cherished family of God, caught up from scenes of sorrow and strife and growing confusion to the Father’s house, our everlasting home.

Well could the Apostle speak of “the surpassingness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3). Beside this all other knowledge is beggared, all gain is but loss.

Beloved, while resting on His work in its eternal stability, may we set our hearts daily to acquire a deepening acquaintance with the love of Christ: it is a
  Love that no tongue can teach.
  Love that no thought can reach.

It is a love that passeth knowledge, yet we are to know it in all its wondrous fullness.