Love in Death and Love in Life

An Easter reflection by Lauren Becker, director of discipleship

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” —Romans 6:6–11

How mysterious and ungraspable is love?

Love given to others often comes too easily, in distorted form, often a twisted serving of our own selfishness. Or it comes too hard, forced and fabricated, something we know we should feel, but often feign. Love given to us is at times hard to receive. We question the motives of the giver, or simply cannot comprehend that we would be worthy of the gift.

Of the attributes of God, for some of us, his love is bewilderment. We can see how he could love others, but question if he could really love us. Our human love has been broken, and so we simply don’t understand. How could God love me, a sinner?

How mysterious and ungraspable is love! The clearest image we have of right love is found in Jesus Christ. Love is that God would send his son to us, to die, to pay the penalty of our sin and make a way for us to enter into his righteousness and place as sons and daughters of the King!

This God-love is not to be taken lightly. It is too powerful, predestined and purposeful. This love would mean the death of Christ. Love compelled the Father to give us his Son, and love compelled the Savior to face the darkness of the penalty of our sin. How mysterious and ungraspable is love.

The terror of Friday gives way to the beauty of Sunday morning. It is finished! Christ has made a way for the children of God to live in the promise of the fullest measure of his perfect love. Someday we will grasp it, no longer a mystery. But how do we live in right love now?

Love means death. How can we understand what it means to love? Taking the example of Christ, we too must die. We can love others by placing their needs before our own, and die to self. We can love God by putting our sinful ways to death and live in obedience to Him.

Love means life! What freedom we will find when we die to ourselves. Like the wonder and hope that rises on Easter morning, so is the life we enter into when we cling to Christ and live and love in His ways. How mysterious and ungraspable is love on the other side of death, more fully alive than ever before. Let us live into this love, and “consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”