I wanted to read a definition of the word "love" today, so I powered up my computer and went to urbandictionary.com. In my limited experience, I've found that the internet is the only reliable source of information, especially if that information is open sourced. Anyways, here are 5 helpful* definitions:
- Either a horrible disease or a blessing.
- Nature's way of tricking people into reproducing
- Most people use the word "love" to get into someone else's pants.
- A zero score in tennis.
- A word used by many, but understood by few.
"I love tacos."
This is probably the one I use the most. Many times I'm merely exaggerating, although I do love tacos...
"I love you man."
Usually the way I say "thank you," in response to a kind act.
"I love you, Ashley."
This allows me to encourage my wife without having to exhaust a lot of my resources.
It's clear that there are various levels of meaning behind the word "love," and with this is mind, what do phrases like: "God is love" or "For God so loved the world..." actually mean? Lets use the examples that I provided above.
- Is God's love an exaggeration of truth?
- Is God's love based on His appreciation for something we do?
- Is God's love a substitute for actually demonstrating concern?
I've never thought about this before, but Good Friday reveals that God has a unique definition for the word, "love." Good Friday shows that God wasn't using hype to sell us a bunch of junk. It shows that He wasn't trying to thank us for acting nicely. It also shows that He wasn't taking the easy way out. Good Friday shows that God's definition requires action, and this is how it looks:
God created humans to spend eternity in relationship with Him. The only stipulation was that Humans had to obey God and treat one another with love and equality. Humans rejected that plan, and decided to be their own bosses instead. Their choice resulted in a painful existence where people hurt God, hurt each other and hurt the rest of creation. Justice demands punishment for the perpetrator, and protection of the victims. Because everyone is both a victim and a perpetrator, the only just punishment is total isolation. This punishment broke God's heart, so He created a rescue plan. God was the only victim who was not guilty of hurting others, so He was the only one who didn't deserve punishment. God used His opportunity to take the punishment for people by coming to earth as a man named Jesus, and allowing people to kill Him. This action maintained justice and taught victims how to forgive their perpetrator. In order to prove that justice was served, Jesus rose from the dead three days later, and appeared to 500 people. Today it's possible for anyone to have a relationship with God if they chose to accept Jesus' sacrifice as their punishment. They do this by acknowledging their disobedience, asking God for forgiveness, submitting to Jesus as their boss and choosing to forgive other people. People who refuse these terms will face a just punishment, which results in isolation from God and others.
This year, remember that "love" meant a whole lot to God.