March 10, 2017

Love Risks Rejection

Love Risk Rejection

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering….” Isaiah 53:3 (NIV)

C.S. Lewis said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Lewis aptly describes the sacrifice of love and the risk of rejection it involves.  So many today describe love as give and take, when the truth is that real love is giving all.  John uses Christ as the example of that kind on love in 1 John 3:16 when he writes,

“This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”  

John is describing the sacrificial nature of love.  Jesus laid down His life for us regardless of our response.  He gave His all for you and me.  His love wasn’t a 50/50 exchange of affection.  I’ll love you if you love Me.  It wasn’t even an “I love you because…”  It was simply “I love you.” The depth of that commitment is revealed in His sacrifice. Love also risks rejection.  Contrary to the fake news that love is safe and easy, real love is dangerous and risky.  John’s Gospel tells us,

“(Jesus) came to His own people, and even they rejected Him.” John 1:11 (NLT)

Isaiah predicted as much over 700 years before Jesus came to earth. In Isaiah 53:3, he prophesied that the Messiah to come would be despised and rejected of men. Even at the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, Jesus stretched out His arms between two sinners.  One would reject Him, and the other would repent.  Why would He risk the rejection and make such a sacrifice? Because of love!  The feelings of love may fail but the Bible says,

“Love never fails!”  1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)