a cross on the top of a hill
Praise Foundations

Worthy to Sacrifice: The Living Love of Jesus in the Bible

For most people, it is through the examples of Jesus’ love in the Bible that God is understood more clearly, but God’s great love isn’t the only reason He sent Christ Jesus. The everlasting love of God toward people is so powerful that He willingly offered His own Son as an atoning sacrifice for sin to reconcile humankind once again to Himself once and for all.

When sin entered the world through the freewill choices of Adam and Eve, a chasm opened wide separating the holiness and light of God from the filth and darkness of man’s sin. While humanity has languished and suffered for thousands of years toiling, fighting, killing and dying, God never left nor abandoned His people even in His wrath.

How can a loving God have wrath? 

In order to answer that question, it is crucial to know what the wrath was toward. God’s wrath was never against people, but against sin.

In His love, He poured that wrath out onto His Son Jesus at the cross instead of onto you, and now, the “law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2) is no longer in effect for those who are children of God through Jesus Christ! (Isaiah 53:6) 

a cross on the top of a hill

The Entire Bible Tells of God’s Love Through Jesus

Psalm 40:7-8 is a prophetic passage about the Messiah that says, “…Behold, I come; In the entire scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” (NKJV) 

The entire Bible testifies of a faithful God whose love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and zeal led Him to offer up a sacrifice worthy of your praise – His own Son. 

In John 15:13-13 (NKJV) Jesus Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends…”

Jesus’ life and death is the story of God’s great love – providing a sinful, fallen people the choice of eternal life through belief in the Messiah, Jesus the Son of God! The zeal of the Lord is seen in His jealousy and passion to have a reconciled relationship with people – and He was willing to sacrifice His own Son that you could draw near to Him. 

“The zeal of the Lord is His jealousy and passion to have a reconciled relationship with people – and He was willing to sacrifice His own Son that you could draw near to Him.”

~Alicia Purdy

The love of Jesus is the kind of love that will never forsake you- and that reason alone is why He is worth of your praise and worship!

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you,” the Lord said. (Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV)

God desires your heart, but giving yourself to Him is not a one-time act at salvation. It’s a daily giving, which produces sanctification and transformation.

It is not an easy thing to give yourself to the Lord as life crowds in with its trials. The enemy wants to disconnect you from the God’s presence because he knows it protects you. (Psalm 91:1)

The enemy wants to disconnect you from the God’s presence because he knows it protects you.”

~Alicia Purdy

He wants to tempt you to accuse God – as he does – when life gets hard. Don’t fall for it! You don’t worship because life is good. You praise and worship the Lord because God is good!

Even through the hardest times that come as a result of the ravages of sin, the Lord has always been faithful to continually draw His people to Himself.

That is the essence of everlasting love. He will always desire your heart. He will always your praise and worship so you can be close to His presence.

drawing of hands touching

What Did Jesus Look Like? The Image of the Invisible God

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God and He doesn’t just “represent” God – Jesus is God.

This is beyond human ability to fully comprehend and no one will have all the answers until they see Him face to face, (1 John 3:2), but there isn’t anything Jesus did that God wouldn’t do – and there isn’t anything God ever did that would contradict Jesus’ love in the Bible. 

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) says,

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth… Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together.”

Every characteristic and action applies equally to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. However, because of Christ, God’s wrath toward sin does change through reconciliation. Sin is no longer counted as worthy of death through Jesus who willingly died in your place and took your punishment on Himself.

  • In Isaiah 43:10-11 the Lord said, “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.
  • John 1:18 says, “No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.

Isaiah 53:2-4 notes that Jesus’ physical appearance was nothing remarkable. “There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him…He was despised and rejected… We turned our backs on him and looked the other way”. (NLT) 

What we do know about Jesus Christ, the image of God, is through the gift of prophecy given to many Old Testament prophets like Isaiah who spoke about the characteristics of the Messiah. (Isaiah 9:6)

  • Wonderful Counselor
  • Mighty God
  • Eternal Father
  • Prince of Peace

And in the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews notes: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin…” (Hebrews 4:15, MEV)

You have a living hope through Christ’s love and the covenant of peace He came to bring between holy God and sinful man. That Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3) means that you will not experience the ravages of sin into eternity, but will have eternal life with God through Christ. 

“…we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see him as He really is.” (1 John 3:2, MEV)

Only by spending time in God’s Word, dwelling with His presence through praise, and communing with Him in prayer will Jesus’ followers grow to “be like Him” and bear His spiritual image of Light in the darkness.

cross cut out of paper

The Cross and the Manger: God’s Love Goes from Death to Life

Both the cross and the manger proved Jesus’ love in the Bible, His humility, His obedience to God. Both the cross and the manger held His vulnerable body, covered in blood, but the miracle is more than that!

  • In the manger Jesus was covered in the blood of humanity, representing sin and pain, through His mother’s body.
  • On the cross, Jesus’ body was covered in the blood of His own body, the blood that was shed for the remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22); the blood that flowed to heal every disease (Isaiah 53:5); and the blood that was perfectly innocent of any sin. (Matthew 27:1-4)
  • At the manger, noblemen bowed down before Him as the king. 
  • At the cross, Jesus was given a crown of thorns and mocked for calling Himself the King of the Jews. 
  • In the manger, Jesus’ new body was lovingly wrapped in strips of cloth to keep Him secure. 
  • At the cross, Jesus’ broken body was lovingly wrapped in strips of cloth for burial. 

“Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8, NLT)

The cross and the manger are two symbols of God’s plan in sending His son:

  1. To be born into sin and live on earth
  2. To suffer and die for the sins of all mankind
  3. To defeat death so all who believe can have eternal life.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” John wrote about the person of Jesus. (John 1:14) What powerful testimony of a loving Father to send His beloved Son to save God’s people from their sin! (John 3:16-17)

Jesus Christ was the Lord God’s peace on earth. Because of the sacrifice and love of Christ Jesus, there is “goodwill” – reconciliation – between sinful man and holy God. No more punishment of death for sin!! There is absolutely no better reason to worship than that! 

How God’s Love Gave You a Living Hope in Jesus

“…hope is an anchor for the soul,” the writer of Hebrews said. (Hebrews 6:19) 

What makes believers different from the rest of the world? Our hope is in the Lord and not in the “princes who cannot save” (Psalm 146:3) of the world!

The world has a misplaced, dead “hope” in their worship of the created things. They bow their knee before the dead and powerless, and suffer in a hopeless darkness. (Psalm 115:5-8, NLT) Your God is alive, powerful, ever-present, and He sees, hears and understands. He never leaves you even in the fire and the flood.

quote about bowing down

You serve a Creator who lives and loves you. The Holy Spirit counsels, comforts, teaches, guides and intercedes for you. (Romans 8:34) Without the hope you have in Jesus Christ who is alive- what is the point? The good news is that Jesus is ALIVE! 

Jesus’ resurrection from death is the very reason why you have a Living Hope not only for salvation, but for everything you need. Jesus’ love in the Bible was to all who would call upon His name. God’s Word has power and it is alive too. (Hebrews 4:12)

Why is Jesus Worthy to be “Continually” Praised? His Steadfast Love Never Ceases

“I will hope continually,” David wrote. “And will add to all Your praise.” (Psalm 71:14) That word “praise” is the Hebrew word tehillah. “Tehillah” praise is the spontaneous, spirit-borne testimony you sing about Jesus Christ- who He is, and what He has done – through you, in you and for you.

Learn more about the 7 Hebrew Words for Praise and how each one helps create strength, intimacy, and fresh revelation as you understand more about God’s plan for praise in your life!

Anyone can praise God when things are great, but when you are still waiting for your miracle, when your situation seems to be getting even more intense, that is when praise becomes a weapon of spiritual warfare – because your God is ALIVE.

That is why your hope can live on too and for that your rightful and Biblical response is to praise the Lord!

Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (ESV)

All along the way, throughout the journey David’s Tehillah praise, his “new song”, (Psalm 40:1-3) was always being written. Why? Because “Tehillah” is your testimony of what God has done for you.

3 of the Best Bible Verses About Jesus’ Love

1. Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT), “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep [Christ’s] love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

2. Hebrews 7:25-26 (MEV),“Therefore [Christ] is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, because He at all times lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, for He is holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and is higher than the heavens.”

3. 1 John 2:1-2 (MEV), “But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Remember: Gratitude is the point of origin for praise. You don’t worship because life is good. You praise and worship the Lord because God is good!

Jesus Christ, who “knew no sin and became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21) is the evidence of the zeal of the Lord, His unfailing love, which has never changed from the first moment He spoke life and breath into Adam. You can safely trust in the love of the Lord and hope in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is worthy to be praised! 

A lifestyle of worship is a spiritual discipline, a foundation built upon the faith that God is who He said He is in His Word.

The natural response of a grateful heart is to praise and worship Him. You remember Him. You lift His name high. You present your body as a “living sacrifice” to Him… not because He’ll stop loving you, but because He loved you first! 

Dig deeper into What the Bible Says About Praise! 

“Learning How to Walk in the Power of Gratitude Directed Toward God”

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