The Bible tells us that God is love (1 Jn. 4:8). It also tells us that the reason he sent his son to die for us is because he loves us (Jn. 3:16). It was both a kind of sentimental kind of love, because he is love he does things that are loving. It was also an act of love, “because I love you, I am doing this loving things towards you.” So, God’s sending Jesus to die for us was loving from top to bottom.
The Bible also tells us that the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father (Jn 5:19-20). Along these lines it says that the Son does what he does because the Father tells him to and because he sees the father doing it (Jn 8:28, 29). When two people are in a loving relationship, they serve, imitate, and respect one another .
The Bible tells us that the loving father sent his son to die for us. It tells us that the loving Son obeyed the father and went to the cross, both because he loves the father and because he was laying down his life for his sheep. We are those sheep.
Jesus is precious to God the Father. Jesus is precious to his sheep, which were given this great gift. Believing that Jesus gave his life for us will transform how we live to more directly, purposefully, carefully, and consciously imitate the one who gave his life or us.
Three things happen when a sheep realizes that the Son gave his life for him. The first thing is that the torn relationship that existed, because of the sin of the sheep, is mended, cleansed, and forgiven. Mended means restored. What was non-existent because of guilt, wrath, judgment, and rebellion was repaired. We had no relationship with God, but because of Jesus death and resurrection, the relationship was restored. The guilt is taken away. We can now talk with God.
‘Cleansed’ means washed, renewed, shame taken away. There is no shame in Christ. Shame has to do with who you are. When we come to Christ, who we were, is washed away, we become new creations (Gal. 6:15). We are in Christ. We are Christ-ians. God sees us in and through him. As we believe this and as we apply His understanding of who we are to ourselves, our shame lifts and we live as new people.
Forgiven means that God pledges to “not remember our sin” (Jer. 31: 34; Heb 10:15-18). Out of that comes what we know as not holding the sin against us, not bringing it up to others or to you to be used against you, and our relationship will be as if you never did what you did (at least in terms of holding it against you).
The second thing is that God begins transforming the sheep from the inside out. The Holy Spirit comes into him and gives him a new heart. The reason the sheep was sinning before was because his heart was sinful. When the relationship with God is restored, God gives him a new heart. He also comes into the sheep and causes new things to happen in him that begin coming out his fingertips (Gal. 5:22-23). He was grumpy and angry. Now he is sweet and kind. He was sad, and guilty. Now he is free and full of joy. He was lonely and filled with shame. Now his is a member of a new society, and the shame has been replaced with delight.
The third thing that God does is to change the sheep’s thinking, motives, desires, and goals. Before, everything was self-focused: how can I get ahead? Who do I blame for my situation in life? How can I get attention in this world? It’s all about me. In Christ, it changes to how do I please him? Whom do I love and how do I love them in a way that will make them more like Jesus? How do I make this conversation more about Jesus and less about me? How do I help the person I’m talking with see themselves as a glorious person in Christ? How do I bring honor and glory to the King?
The new creation sees Jesus as precious and this changes everything.