People can only love unconditionally to the degree that they have known unconditional love. People may love but apart from the Lord it is a selfish love. It is a “because” love. I love you because I want you to love me back. I love you because you are beautiful. I love you because of how you make me feel. It is all about me. It was not until Jesus Christ came into the world did we even see what an unconditional love looks like. God loves you because He is love and not because of anything that you have done or will ever do.
I John 3:16a We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;
God’s love was manifested by sending His only begotten Son to die on a cross for sinners who did not even care about Him.
I John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
The justice of God was satisfied through the death of Jesus Christ. We sinned and we deserve hell but Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and rose again so that we might have life and know His love. This is what propitiation means. God is satisfied. God is holy and our sin is offensive to Him and causes His wrath to be stored up. Now, God is not mad at us anymore because His wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ, who never sinned.
I John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God demonstrated His love towards us in that while we were His enemies Jesus Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
We turned our back to the Lord and because of that we are responsible for the Father turning His back on Jesus. For this reason Jesus Christ cried out on the cross, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He was rejected so that we might be accepted. He was rejected and knows what it feels like when someone we love might turn their back on us.
Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Not only have we turned our back on God when we have sinned but we have also at times turned our backs on others. We would not and could not love them with the same kind of love that Jesus Christ has loved us, that is, until we came to know Him as our Savior and Lord. We were helpless to love with an unselfish love until we came to know His love. It is only when God is in us that we can love with His love because He actually loves through us through the power of His Spirit.
I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.
This is the mark of a true Christian. A true Christian will be known by their love.
I John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
He showed us what true, unconditional love looks like so that others might see Christ in us. When you see this unconditional love in someone else then you will know that you have seen the Lord in the life of someone who has love, God’s love.