We were watching my 8 year old son play ball recently here in Sebring. He had a good game. Made a couple baskets and played some good defense.
During the game, Chief leaned over and said this: "Think about how much you love your son. He means so much to you. So could you hand him over to an angry mob of people and let them take his life? What if doing that would save all the fans in these stands from their sins?"
That got to me. I love that little boy. And I'd do anything to protect him. I could never entertain the thought of giving him up to people who want to hurt him or end his life. Never.
That's why I said "I don't love people that much."
Yes, I am a people person. "Relational" is an easy way to describe me. I do love people. But the truth of the matter is this: I could not give up my son to save you or anyone else. Sorry. I just could not do it. I don't have that kind of love.
But God does.
See, that was the point Chief made to me after his question. He said, "God gave up His only Son to save all of us. Isn't that something?!"
I nodded and said, "Yeah, Chief, that is quite a love He has! A greater love than I can imagine." Then I kind of forgot about the game taking place on the court and could only think about how God did what He did centuries ago. He allowed His Son, Jesus, to go through a trial, beatings, whippings, public humiliation, and execution on a Roman cross. I once again tried to comprehend how God could give up His sinless Son to save sinful people like me. It was quite a moment.
Friend, you are loved. Loved by the one, true, living God of the universe. Loved in a way that is too deep and too great for any of us to even come close to understanding.
I've had some great talks with Chief over the years. But that one especially moved me in a profound way. And reminded me of the most important truth of all: God loves you and me. Always has. Always will.