When I was younger and I read in my bible how the people turned away from God, how Elijah ran scared from Jezebel, or how the disciples messed up, I would think to myself “if I had been there I wouldn’t have done that.” I also used to day dream about how wonderful it would have been if Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned. I thought that somehow my relationship with God would have been so much better. I was jealous of them for getting to walk in the cool of the evening with Him. That had I been there, my choice would have been different than the one they made. That’s easy to say living on this side of the cross. We see the consequences of their actions all laid out for us in Scripture. Now that I am a little older, I am pretty confident that had I been there, at that time, I too would have fallen for the serpent’s lies. While thinking about all of this one day, the Lord spoke these words into my heart, “He who has been forgiven much, loved much.” So I looked that verse up and found it in Luke 7:41-48 (ESV),
(Jesus said,) “A certain money lender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do ou see this woman? I entered your house: you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave m no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven- for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
This woman, of less than a perfect reputation, had come into the home of Simon the Pharisee where Jesus was eating. They all knew who she was, or what she was. Yet, she went anyway, uninvited. Why would she put herself in this embarrassing, humbling position? Because she loved Him much! He had forgiven her so much and she was extremely grateful. After reading this scripture I realized that I couldn’t have loved God any more than I do now, even if I had lived in the Paradise of Eden, because like that woman, I have been forgiven much.
That marvelous love, the love that caused the Father to give His only son, the love that drove that Son to the cross and held Him when no earthly nails could have, that is the love that drew me to Him. I love Him because of His merciful forgiveness, for what He has done on the cross, for how much my life has changed, and for the simple fact that despite my shortcoming, my failings, and yes, my sin, He still loves me.
Next time you join together in communion, as you remember His broken body and His shed blood, remember His love. Remember for just a minute who you were, and who you are now. He did that!
Father, I thank You that I was born in this time and in this place. I didn’t miss out on anything by not being born into paradise. Jesus, thank You for Your great love, the love that poured out as freely as Your blood, the blood that washed away all of my sin. I am grateful and because I am grateful, I love you and I choose to accept all that You purchased for me by Your shed blood and Your broken body.