Imagine: God knew you before He formed the world (Ephesians 1:4.)
He saw all the mistakes and choices you would make, the people whose lives you would change, even the times you turned your back on Him and denied Him like Peter (John 18:15-27.)
He still loved you. He still thought you were worth creating. He picked a specific purpose for you to accomplish while on Earth (Jeremiah 29:11.) All the good you could do outweighed everything else.
The church, as a whole, believes that we must love God with all heart and mind (Luke 10:27,) but it is impossible for us as humans to do so.
Jesus knew that. He knew that we would have to rely on the Sacrifice He would make at the Cross, where He took the wrath and punishment of God for all our sins (II Corinthians 5:21.)
Instead of focusing on how much we love Jesus, we need to focus on how much He loves us (I John 4:19.)
When we do this, we begin to effortlessly love Jesus more.
We must gaze on how Jesus, who knew no sin, never sinning a day in His life, took the punishment for our sins. Not His. Ours (For more on why I believe this, read Does God Hold Our Sins Against Us?)
Would we have done that for the world had we been in His place? We say we would. I doubt it. We are not that selfless.
The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23.) Jesus took that punishment for us. Only He could. He alone kept every commandment, every ordinance, every bit of the Law set for by God, for the Israelites (Matthew 5:17.)
He did this for you. He did this for me.
Not only did He take our punishment, He endured stripes on His back (Isaiah 53:4-5, I Peter 2:24.) His body torn up for our healing.
Not our healing in Heaven. We don’t need it there.
Romans 8:11 clearly states He took it for healing in our mortal body. This one ( For more on why I believe this, read Does God Heal?).
If He just took our sins, we would have Eternal Life, salvation from Hell (John 3:16.)
If He just took our sins and sicknesses, we would go to Heaven and be able to carry out God’s Will in this Earth.
He also took the Curse though. Cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree (Galatians 3:13.)
He wasn’t cursed by Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden (Genesis 3.) We were.
He took the effects of the Curse for us. We are redeemed from all the curses listed in Deuteronomy 28. All of them.
He took a crown of thorns on His head (John 19:2) to heal us from mental illness and anxiety as well.
Jesus did so much for us on the Cross.
Meditate on what He did, and love for Him will come easily.
We love Him because He first loved us.
Remember the more we focus on His love and what He did for us, the more we will see His love and His benefits overflowing in our lives.