Love is complicated. I'm working through some stuff to prep for a book on the idea of Christian Love with a buddy of mine.
But love is no easy concept to grasp. If the love Christians have for one another is supposed to be reflective of the love God has for us, then, my friends, we are doing a very poor job.
We have acted with our society's understanding of love. Love is simply an emotion; and love - through often referred to as unconditional - is fleeting.
But God's love is different. True love is different. It is about sacrifice. It is about the beloved, not the lover.
If you want to see a movie about love, don't watch The Notebook, watch the Passion of the Christ.
The idea of the suffering servant is prominent in Hebrew Prophetic literature. But few saw the Messiah of God as the prophet who suffers as well. The Messiah was supposed to be a kingly figure who would overthrow the oppressors of the Israelites and set up a kingdom on this earth that will be in complete accordance with the will of YHWH.
But this was not to be so. Instead the Messiah preached a different kingdom - one that required love. And since love is sacrifice, it meant pain on his part - because love is not about the lover but the beloved.
A hot afternoon in the Near East was a day that would change the course of humanity forever. So many went about their daily business without the slightest inclination of the significance the day would hold. Because the Messiah understood true love, and acted on it. The Messiah embraced his call.
Should we not do the same?