One of my favorite classic movies is “Ben Hur”. While the chariot race is one of my favorite parts, my most favorite part comes later in the movie. When is this part? It is when Ben Hur learns that his mom and sister are still living. However, at the same time, he also learns they are lepers living in a leper colony. So, at the very same time he experiences great joy knowing they are still alive, he also experiences great sorrow hearing the news that they are lepers. What takes place in the movie next strums the deepest emotions of the heart! The leper colony, where his mom and sister are living, dwells in a cave system. Ben Hur enters the cave system looking and searching for them. He looks and searches, in every tent and under every blanket until he finally finds his mom and sister. When he finds them, they try to dissuade him from taking them out of there, but he persists. His sister is unable to walk due to the effects of the leprosy. With his mother at his side and his sister in his arms, he leads them out of the cave. His purpose is to take them to Jesus, but he is a bit late in that endeavor because Jesus had just been crucified. Don’t worry, I am not going to relate the rest of the story and ruin it for those who would like to see a great movie classic!
However, Ben Hur reflects the heart of God because God loves us unconditionally. While God has a deep, deep love for us, at the same time He experiences deep sorrow because of our sin. And yet, He still loves us just as we are. Could there ever be a greater love than the love God has for us? Could there be a greater heart for us than the heart God has for us? Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Demonstrating unconditional love toward family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ may be very challenging. And yet, it is in those experiences where we learn a little about the kind of unconditional love God has for us. When our spouse makes a decision that we know will bring us continued pain, it is a challenge to keep loving. When our children make decisions that we know will cause us continued pain, it is a challenge to keep loving. And yet, that is how God loves us!
Greatly blessed by the love of the Father!