I suggested last week that John Piper’s book Love To The Uttermost is an excellent resource to help guide you through the Holy Week with some fresh insights (you can read my review of this book by clicking here). Here are a few of the fresh insights that stood out to me.
“Luke 12:32 is a verse about the nature of God. It’s a verse about what kind of heart God has. It’s a verse about what makes God glad—not merely about what God will do or what He has to do, but what He delights to do, what He loves to do, and what He takes pleasure in doing. ‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ …This is what the word means: God’s joy, His desire, His want and wish and hope and pleasure and gladness and delight, is to give the kingdom to His flock.”
“Jesus was not accidentally entangled in a web of injustice. The saving benefits of His death for sinners were not an afterthought. God planned it all out of infinite love to sinners like us, and He appointed a time. Jesus, who was the very embodiment of His Father’s love for sinners, saw that the time had come and set His face to fulfill His mission: to die in Jerusalem for our sake. ‘No one takes my life from Me,’ Jesus said, ‘I lay it down of my own accord’ (John 10:18).”
“First, we know the depth of someone’s love for us by what it costs him. Second, we know the depth of someone’s love for us by how little we deserve it. Third, we know the depth of someone’s love for us by the greatness of the benefits we receive in being loved. Fourth, we know the depth of someone’s love for us by the freedom with which they love us.”
“[God] does not need us. If we stay away He is not impoverished. He does not need us in order to be happy in the fellowship of the Trinity. But He magnifies His mercy by giving us free access through His Son, in spite of our sin, to the one Reality that can satisfy us completely and forever, namely, Himself.”
“The resurrection of Jesus is given to us as the confirmation or evidence that He was indeed free in laying down His life. And so the resurrection is Christ’s testimony to the freedom of His love. …Of all the great things that Easter means, it also means this: it is a mighty ‘I meant it!’ behind Christ’s death. I meant it! I was free. You see how free I am? You see how much power and authority I have? I was able to avoid it. I have power to take up My life out of the grave. And could I not, then, have devastated My enemies and escaped the Cross? My resurrection is a shout over My love for My sheep: It was free! It was free! I chose it. I embraced it. I was not caught. I was not cornered. Nothing can constrain Me to do what I do not choose to do. I had power to take My life from death. And I have taken My life from death. How much more, then, could I have kept My life from death! I am alive to show you that I really loved you. I freely loved you. Nobody forced Me to it. And I am now alive to spend eternity loving you with omnipotent resurrection love forever and ever. Come to Me, all you sinners who need a Savior. And I will forgive you and accept you and love you with all My heart forevermore.”