AGAPE LOVE - Jesus laid down His life for us
Updated: Mar 13, 2021
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
(John 15:13 ESV)
Jesus demonstrated Agape Love
Jesus shows us how far His “love” has extended in laying down His life for the world. God’s agape love was fully demonstrated at the cross: “God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16 NIV); “When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,” (Colossians 2:13 NIV).
When Jesus Christ died for our sins, we were still sinners and undeserving of such sacrifice (Romans 5:8). We were on some sort of collision course. We were robed in sin, divorced from our loving Creator, and headed towards a dark, void, and punishing life. God in His grace and mercy has taken the fall for us. The Sinless Lamb of God gave His life as a ransom for a fallen human race, (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:5-6). This love is called Agape love - it is selfless, unmerited, unfailing, and gracious. It seeks the good of others rather than its own.
Agape love is sacrificial love that willingly suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of others.
Agape love is shown through the acts, particularly the act of the will. Again, it is unselfish (Mark 12:30-31) and unconditional - insofar as one chooses to demonstrate utter selfless love towards others, even if they don't receive the same treatment.
When Jesus gave the new command, “love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another,” (John 13:34) not only did He implanted a new law but taught us how to relate and treat our fellow neighbour, whether he is friend or foe, (Matthew 5:38-39). As a matter of fact, we cannot love God (Matthew 22:37) without loving other people (Matthew 22:39). The two are inextricably connected.
Can we show Agape love?
Can we demonstrate utter selflessness? Can we demonstrate total compassion and love for a complete stranger in need of assistance? the answer is NO!
It is not possible to live the way God wants us to without His strength. Hence, God The Holy Spirit is given to us for this reason. What should we do? we need to surrender our human will to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead us to walk in Him. When you surrender your will to His, He enables you to produce godly characteristics (Galatians 5:22-23) and live a holy life before God.
The Spirit’s leading will always go against the flesh (Romans 8:13-14). How amazing is that!
Finally, most of us will not be called to lay down our lives for others in some act of selfless love or bravery. However, we are called to Agape love through Jesus's example:
First, To walk in love: As followers of Christ, we are to show humility and meekness. A humble person is willing to inconvenience themselves in order to help others. They are willing to forego their own desires so other people can receive what they need. Jesus was meek and lowly, (Philippians 2:5-8). Though He was in heaven with God, in the form of God, He humbled Himself and came to earth as a man, and obeyed to the point of death. Why? because of His Agape love, and because He desired to meet our needs. Moreover, He wanted to be of service to us.
Second, To obey the Lord: It is inconsistent and false to claim we agape love Jesus, then, we do not obey Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. (John 14:15). He also added: "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love," (John 15:10).
Third, to selflessly give away a little bit of ourselves to others, each day: by loving, helping and serving others, (John 13:35). Philippians 2:4 tells us: "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." We also need to "bear one another's burdens," (Galatians 6:2).
These are the commands of Agape love to others.
Some Important Bible verses about Agape love taken from the NlV Bible:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:9-12
"So we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16
"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13
"Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5