Written by Josiah Piett
Since the beginning of creation, God has revealed His love for humanity through His vulnerability. The Father of all things has allowed His creation to have the choice whether or not they will be in relationship with Him. We see this through the whole Bible, beginning with Adam and Eve and finishing with the call of the Spirit to all who hear and come into relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Revelation 22:17).
The love of the Father to humanity from beginning until the end has always been in the form of invitation. This invitation is not forced, nor is it a beggar’s plea—it is simply offered to all who will hear. Even the most devoted follower of Jesus cannot comprehend the full weight of all the implications surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yet God allows this incomprehensible action to be explained in such a way that even a child can share this invitation with someone in a few sentences.
God went to unimaginable lengths to express His love for humanity. In spite of knowing the inevitable rejection and misunderstanding that would come from this action, God allowed Himself to be put in a place of vulnerability for the sake of this invitation that has been made available in and through Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
It sounds insane when you think about how God acts in comparison to how God could, in light of His power, strength, and authority. There is no reason for God to submit Himself to humanity through an invitation. Who are we that the Creator of all things would invite us into a relationship with Him? It’s crazy that God would even allow us to make this choice.
We don’t deserve this choice, we didn’t earn this choice, yet He freely offers it to all who will hear. His love for us is bigger than we can even imagine. He has made up His mind when it comes to you, me, and every human on this earth. He loves us. But He will not force His love upon us. Instead, He will invite us into receiving this love and relationship with Him.
Our responsibility in this invitation is simply to respond through repentance and receiving that which God has desired to freely give us. The word “repent” simply means changing your thinking, or to turn from the direction you were heading. We can respond by receiving this love and relationship by simply saying yes to God’s invitation.
God’s love for us is revealed through invitation and accomplished because of the sacrifice of Jesus. By inviting us and not forcing us, God has opened Himself up to being rejected by His own creation. God knows all things which means He died for people that He knew would reject him. Even on the cross, Jesus died for both of the criminals being crucified beside him. Yet, as far as the text shows us, only one responded to His invitation. That is radical love that goes beyond what is comfortable and safe. That is a love that is truly being described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I think deep down, all of us ask this question of whether we have any significance in this world or not. It’s in that moment when you look up at the stars at night and you realize how small you are. Or when you are in a busy city and you see the magnitude of people that surround you. Let’s be honest, it can even happen when you see or learn about someone who has accomplished something great in your mind. In that moment, there comes a deep, almost unconscious thought that I think we all ask: “Do I even matter?”
The God who reigns over everything we are able to see, and even the things we cannot see, has an answer for you. Yes, you matter to him—so much so that He would humble Himself to not only live as a human but to be killed by the very creatures He created. With one purpose in mind Jesus lived, died, and resurrected. That purpose was you, me and everyone on this earth to be able to have this unbelievable invitation to enter into a relationship with God.
God saw the relationship He could have with you and said, “I am willing to die for the sake of this relationship.” You are significant, you matter, you are worth it to Him. The Father over all things loves you and is inviting you to have relationship with Him.