Thou hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me.

John 17:23

 

Imagine that! What an astounding word this is from our God and Savior! — “Thou hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me.” The Father loved Christ as His own Son, and loved Him as our Mediator from everlasting. He loved Him when He assumed our humanity. The Father loved Him while He walked on this earth as His obedient Son, fulfilling all righteousness for us. Oh, how the Father loved the Son, even when He was made to be sin for us, especially when He was made to be sin for us, though justice demanded that He both slaughter Him and abandon Him, pouring out all the horror of His holy wrath and fury upon Him!

 

Love Demonstrated

 

The instances and demonstrations of the Father’s love to the Son are marvelous to behold. Because the Father loves the Son as our Mediator, He has put all things into His hands, trusting Him with all His glory and all the people of His love (Ephesians 1:12). He has made Him head over all things, put all things under His feet, and determined that in all things He shall have the preeminence!

 

      The Father’s love for the Son is an eternal, immutable, indestructible love of complacency and delight. It will last forever. That I have no difficulty understanding, but what our Lord tells us here is infinitely gracious and glorious beyond my highest imagination. — Our Lord Jesus here declares that God the Father loves us, His people, in exactly the same way as He loves Him!

 

Loved “As”

 

He loves us not merely as His creatures (like a man loves his dog), not merely as the descendants of Adam (as a man loves a man), and certainly not as considered in ourselves (as a man despises and hates his most implacable, obnoxious enemy). But God loves us in His Son, for the sake of His Son, as He loves His Son!

 

      Do you ask, “How does God display such love for us? Does He indeed love us as He loves His own darling Son?” — “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us!” Did He choose Christ as our Mediator (Isaiah 42:1-4)? So He chose us (Ephesians 1:3-6). Did the Father make a covenant with the Son before the world began (Psalm 89:28)? So He made a covenant with us in His Son (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 32:38-40). Did the Father raise the Son from the dead, making Him free from sin (1 Peter 4:1-2)? So He has raised us up from the dead, making us free from sin (Romans 8:1-4). Did the Father supply the Son with all things in daily providence while He walked on earth? So He supplies us! Did the Father send His Spirit and His angels to minister to His Son when He was tempted? So He delivers us out of all our temptations. Does the Father perform all things for the Son? So our God performs all things for us! Does the Father love the Son from everlasting? So He loves us! Does the Father accept the Son?  So  He  accepts  us!  Does  the  Father  love  the Son with utmost pleasure,

 

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satisfaction, and delight? So He loves me! “Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me!

 

Near, so very near to God, nearer I cannot be.

For in the person of His Son, I am as near as He!

Dear, so very dear to God, dearer I cannot be,

For in the person of His Son, I am as dear as He!

 

      Let my heart be forever humbled, ravished, inspired, and filled with praise to my God for His great love to me. Let my soul be forever exultant, joyful, and at peace! Let my life be forever and alone His!

 

Glorious Revelation

 

What a great, glorious Gospel truth we have here. It is something that could never be known except by divine revelation. How honoring to our God! It is just like Him. How comforting to our souls! To the extent that we are able to believe God’s Revelation, our souls shall be comforted.

 

      Our great all-glorious Savior says, “Thou hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Thus, He tells us that God our Father loves His elect in Him as He loves Christ Himself! That is such an amazing, stupendous thing that were it not written in Holy Scripture, I would not dare to think it, much less declare it. But there it stands. And, oh, how my soul rejoices in it! It is our Savior’s desire and purpose that the whole world shall know that God loves us as He loves Him; and so it shall be! A. W. Pink rightly observed…

 

“When God’s elect have all been gathered together in one (John 11:52), when the glory which Christ received from the Father has been imparted to them, when they shall have been made perfect in one, then shall the world have such a clear demonstration of God’s power, grace and love toward His people, that they shall know that the One who died to make this glorious union possible was the sent One of the Father, and that they had been loved by the Father as had the Son, for ‘When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory’ (Colossians 3:4); then ‘he shall come to be glorified in His saints and admired in all them that believe...in that day’ (2 Thessalonians 1:10).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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