The first motivation of love that led the Lord Jesus Christ to His cross of shame, torture, forsakenness and death was not directed toward us, but rather toward Another.
“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do” (John 14:30-31).
The Lord Jesus died first as the expression of loving obedience to His Father. This does not minimize His “great love” toward us (Ephesians 2:4). It rather enhances the understanding of our belovedness because we see that God’s devotion to us flows from the triune devotion that exists between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We are loved by the Father because the Lord Jesus so blesses Him that He desired multitudes more like Him. “To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God… “For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory” (John 1:12; Hebrews 2:14).
We are loved by the Son because He made us, and because He seeks to fulfill His Father’s pleasure that many Christ-like sons and daughters should exist. “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29).
We are loved by the Holy Spirit who devotes Himself to us in humble deference to the will of the Father and the glory of the Son. “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:13).
It is a beautiful thing to be loved by God in the personal sense. It may be even more sublime to realize that our Lord’s love for us originates in a far deeper and more eternal place of the Divine heart. The love bestowed by God upon us has always existed within His triune being. Somehow, the Holy
Spirit draws the trusting heart into the eternally ancient Divine glory of affection, devotion, commitment, and determination to each other that exists in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus prayed for us that we would receive such a wondrous gift of grace, and the Holy Spirit fulfills the request in all who believe…
“O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
“The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.”