Jesus Came to Die Because He Loved The Father
My kids are in that wonderful season of life where they are constantly measuring and comparing things. Everything is a contest. Everything is being compared for its value against something else. They sometimes ask me, “Dad, who do you love more…us or mom?” Now this may sound controversial but I always tell them, without hesitation, that their mother is the person I love most in the world. And then I explain to my kids: “I love your mom the most, because I want to love you in the best way possible. If I didn’t love your mom the most, I wouldn’t be loving you well at all. My love for your mother helps her be a better mom to you. It helps her enjoy and embrace her roll as a mother. It helps her feel like I am with her, for her, and that I treasure her and that I treasure the her care for you.”
I tell them, “I love her the most, for your sake.”
This is similar to Jesus’ love for the Father. Frequently, when we think of the love of Jesus on the cross we think of how he loved us. But his love is deeper than that. Who did Jesus love the most when he died on the cross?
Consider Jesus’ own words in John 14:29-31,
” 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
In the supreme act of love for mankind Jesus is simultaneously showing us that mankind is not supreme. Mankind is not uppermost in Jesus’ affection. The Father is. Through the cross Jesus desired to show the world, not only his love for them, but the supremacy and worth of His Father.
Notice also the song about Jesus in Revelation 5:9-10
9 And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
The singing in heaven also affirms the supremacy of God in salvation. Jesus did what he did for us, ultimately, for God. We must see this. God is supreme. God is supremely worthy. God is supremely special. Mankind is not the center of the universe. God is.
This is crucial to accept because we must see the ultimate reason for our salvation. The ultimate reason for salvation is not our happiness. It is our happiness IN THE GLORY of the Father. Jesus saves us in a way that points us, not to ourselves and our worth, but the worth of the Father.
Someone has said that “missions exists because worship doesn’t.” Missionaries from generations passed were known for encouraging one another with this blessing: “May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of his suffering.” These are not merely cute statements to put on a coffee mug. They point us away from ourselves and toward the glory of God in Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus died: He loved His Father so that we would too.