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What can be the meaning of those astounding words falling from the lips of God our Savior? Who can comprehend this? Who can declare it? — “Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” God 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 sin for us, especially when he was made 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!
Instances of Love
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. 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!
Loved as Christ
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!
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?” Behold how he loved us! — “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us!” — Does he indeed love us as he loves his own darling Son? 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 (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 with an everlasting love! — Does the Father accept the Son? So he accepts us! — Does the Father love the Son with utmost pleasure, satisfaction, and delight? So he loves us. — “Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me!”