If you were to ask the general American public what the greatest love is, they would probably say, “Fresh romantic love.” That is the ideal of so many in our contemporary cultures. But others would say, “No that’s not the greatest example of love, really it’s a far greater expression of love when a husband and wife love one another and stay committed to on another for 50 or 60 years.” But others would say, “No, the greatest expression of love is a parent’s love for his child. It’s a love that is amazing and indescribable.” Some would say, “No, it’s really friends for life. When you find somebody you click with and even if separated by distance and time, when you come back together it’s like you’ve never missed a beat. That’s really the ultimate kind of love.”
Certainly those are all examples of love, but Jesus Christ tells us what the greatest love is. He says, “Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
The great Presbyterian minister, Donald Grey Barnhouse, tells of two miners that were trapped in an explosion in a cave and poisonous gas was seeping in. In that explosion, one of the miner’s gas masks was literally ripped apart, but the other miner’s gas mask was intact. That miner took off his gas mask and literally forced his friend to wear it and he said this, “Look. You need this more than me. You have a wife. You have three young children, and I’m alone. I can go, but you need this.” It saved that miner’s life.
But what’s even more unique about Jesus’ love, even greater than that of the selfless miner, is that Jesus didn’t just die for His friends. He died for those who were killing Him, those who were His enemies, those who were not with Him. In other words, He died for you and me. That is the greatest love of all. Jesus wants everyone to experience His love, the greatest love. Our decision is whether we accept it or reject it. So, what will it be for you?