“Christ won our salvation. He earned it. God loves us because he loves his beautiful Son and wants his Son’s righteous beauty spread and proclaimed by transferring that righteous beauty to his Son’s bride…The Father’s affection for the Son is so great that he wants millions of faces to look just like Jesus. It’s finally about Jesus.”
– Jonathan Leeman
I am coming to understand that this love doesn’t look like I would expect. God gives us the gift of salvation so that we would look like Christ, the ultimate object of the Father’s love. God doesn’t love us because he sees some worthiness in us, or our potential future good. He loves us based on the worthiness of Christ. This flies at the face of pride, self-righteousness, and human merit. He loves Christ and wants us to look like him.
If God’s love at the moment of our salvation is defined by the fact that he gives us the righteous beauty of his Son, this must also mean that each day of my life God loves me by working, moving, orchestrating all the events of my life so that I look more like his Son.
God’s love is vastly superior and extremely complex in comparison to our own cultural, self-defined ideas of love. So painful events, emotional wounds, and deep valleys may in fact be the loving tool that God uses to make us more like Christ.
No wonder Paul prayed that the Ephesian church may have strength to know the love of God that surpasses knowledge.
“…that you may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
– Ephesians 3:18-19