A couple nights ago, I was thinking about the extraordinary relationship between Christ and His Father. I love to think about this; I find it beautiful and beyond understanding. I like to think about these things:
"The Lord possessed Me at the beginning of His work, the first of His acts of old. Ages ago, I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
"...then I was beside Him, like a master workman, and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and delighting in the children of man."
Proverbs 8:22-24, 30-31
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him was not anything made that was made."
"I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your heritage, and the ends of the earth Your possession."
""For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You"?
"Or again, "I will be to Him a father and He shall be to Me a son."
"And to which of the angels has He ever said, "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet."
"Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel."
So, I was just resting in these things, thinking about them, and Jesus said to me, the Father loves you as much as He loves me.
And I was so appalled! I thought that could not possibly be true at all; nothing could possibly mean as much to God as His own uniquely begotten Son.
He said, reread My prayer before I was crucified.
So the next day, I did. I read this:
"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."
John 17:22-24 TNIV
Then I realized that of course the Father must love us as much as He loves Christ, because He gave Christ up to death for our sakes. And Christ went willingly, freely giving up the glory and honor He had with His Father, in order to be born human and to die in our sins.
"But it was the will of the Lord to crush Him, causing Him to suffer. Because He gives His life as a gift on the altar for sin, He will see His children. Days will be added to His life, and the will of the Lord will do well in His hand. He will see what the suffering of His soul brings, and will be pleased. By what He knows, the One Who is right and good, My Servant, will carry the punishment of many and He will carry their sins. So I will give Him a share among the great. He will divide the riches with the strong, because He gave up His life. They thought of Him as One Who broke the Law. Yet He Himself carried the sin of many, and prayed for the sinners.
Isaiah 53:10-12, New Life Version
I spent the entire day pretty much just stunned, just in a haze of wonder. It's so much that I can't take it all in for very long. The plans of God are beyond all understanding and we are all caught up in them, at the very heart of them, and all those plans are overflowing and abounding with love.
So then, we have to exclaim, along with Paul:
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:31-39, NIV