John 15:9 “As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love.”
Before Jesus speaks the word that invites us to abide in His love, He first tells us what that love is. What He says about it gives force to His invitation and makes the thought of not accepting it an impossibility: “As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you.” How can we have a right understanding of this love? “Lord, teach us.” Love is not an attribute, it is the essence of His nature, it is the center around which all of His attributes gather. It was because He was love that He was the Father and that there was a Son. Love needs an object to whom it can give itself away, in whom it can lose itself, with whom it can make itself one. Because God is love, there must be a Father and a Son. The love of the Father to the Son is that divine passion with which He delights in the Son and says in Matt. 3:17 “My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The divine love is a burning fire, and it only has one object, one joy and that is the only begotten Son. When we put together all the attributes of God and consider them as rays of the glory of His love, we still cannot come up with an understanding of what love is. Eph. 3:19 makes it clear that it is a love that passes knowledge.
And yet, this love of God to His Son must serve as the example that we are to learn how Jesus loves us. As one of His redeemed ones, you are His delight, and all His desire is to you, with a love that is stronger than death and that nothing can quench. His heart yearns for you, He seeks your fellowship and your love. If necessary He would die all over again to possess you. As the Father loved the Son, Jesus loves you. His life is bound up in yours; to Him you are indispensable and more precious than you will ever know. You are one with Him. “As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you.”
The Bible teaches that it is an eternal love. From before the foundation of the world the purpose was formed that Jesus would be the Head of His church, that He would have a body in which His glory could be set forth. In that eternity He loved and longed for those that have been given to Him by the Father, and when He came and told the disciples that He loved them, it was not with earthly love but with eternal love. It is with that same love that His eye still rests on each of us, and in each of us breathing that love there is the power of eternity. Jer. 31:3 “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”
It is a perfect love. It gives all and holds nothing back. John 3:35 “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.” And in the same way Jesus loves His own: all He has is theirs. When it was needed, He sacrificed His throne and His crown for you: He did not count His own life too dear to give for you. His righteousness, His Spirit, His glory, even his throne, all are yours. This love holds nothing back, but in a way that no human can understand, it makes you one with Him. What wondrous love, to love us even as the Father loved Him, and to offer us this love as our everyday dwelling!