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Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Father's love.

My younger daughter has posted, on Facebook, that it is three years since she was diagnosed with cancer. Obviously, my wife and I, and the whole family, are delighted and grateful that she is here to post about that day, that we recall as if it were, indeed, just yesterday!

We sought to support her throughout her treatment, and are grateful that she had noticed the cancer early, and that she received treatment very quickly. As we sat with her during her chemotherapy sessions - which were the most difficult times - I wished that someone would come into the room and say, "Mr Ross, a new treatment has just been discovered. It involves you taking this chemotherapy on behalf of your daughter, with all of its unpleasant side-effects, but your daughter will then be totally free of cancer, for life."  I have absolutely no doubt at all as to my reaction. I would have taken my daughter's place on that hospital bed as quickly as was humanly possible!

Why would I have done such a thing? Why would I have voluntarily experienced all that she was obliged to experience? Simply because of my love for my own child! I am certain, too, that I would not be unique in that. Surely any loving parent would do the same for their offspring!

As I thought about that, earlier this evening, I realised that it is, in a sense, a picture of the love that Father God has for each one of us. We suffer from the most virulent "cancer" of all - cancer of the soul, that the Bible refers to, quite simply, as "sin". There is no cure that mankind has ever discovered, or ever will discover. However, a cure is available. It's a cure that involved Another taking your place and mine - not on a hospital bed, but on a wooden cross, on a hill named Calvary, just outside the old city of Jerusalem. He took our place; He paid the penalty for our sin; He died, in His humanity,that we might have the opportunity to live.

Indeed, there is even more. Paul writes these amazing words: "For our sake He [the Father] made Him [the Son] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him [the Son] we might become the righteousness of God." (II Cor.5:21). Now, remember that, in the mystery of the Trinity, the Father and the Son (together with Holy Spirit) are One. So, as God, the Son not only experienced the full weight of our sin, He actually became sin! To use my opening analogy, it is as if I was asked to become cancer, in all of its vileness, in order that my daughter be cured! That is, as the hymnwriter pointed out, "love beyond all measure"!

But just think. If the opening picture that I painted had been true, and my daughter had turned round and said, "Don't bother, dad. I'll just suffer all of this myself, and take my chance on the future." Well, any sane person would have said that she was quite mad! They would say that to spurn my love for her in that way was, itself, unforgivable! Yet that is what so many do to God the Son! "We don't really care about what You suffered for us. We'll just carry on regardless, and take our chance with the future!" Sadly, that future is eternity without Him! But He will never force any of us to do what we don't want to do!

Have you acknowledged your own sinfulness? Have you accepted that you can, by yourself, do nothing about it? Then come to the One Whose shed blood can cleanse the deepest stain. He did it for you! "God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). He loves you, and seeks your love in return. 

If you have any questions that you think I might be able to answer, please use the e-mail address at the top of the page. I don't check that Inbox on a daily basis but, as soon as I read your question, I will get in touch. Just remember, that time is short. We cannot be sure of even the next minute. Come to Jesus now. You'll never regret it if you do. 

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