John records Jesus as saying, “For God so loved the world… (John 3:16, NIV)” God loves mankind collectively and individually. Jesus Christ, in fulfilling his ministry here on earth deals with people individually and dies once for everyone for all time. Against this backdrop, I find myself thinking, “What does God mean when he says he loves me?” I believe this will be my first post in an attempt to find an answer…connotatively.
Generally speaking, the first expression of love to a new born baby is by the parents especially the mother. God uses this analogy in his response to Zion who accuse Him of forsaking and forgetting them. He says,
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:15-16, AMP)”
A nursing mother never forgets her child. A nursing mother is always within close proximity of the child. It is like she is at the child’s beck and call. If she has an urgent appointment, she finds a way to ensure the welfare of the child during her absence, even if she has store some breast milk in a feeding bottle. God likens himself to a nursing mother. However, in reality and probably in the world of fiction, we see different mothers and their show of love; some extreme and others absurd. Granted, mothers are imperfect like any other human being and God acknowledges this but it is not the same for Him.
This is the image God is trying to paint. A mother who tattoos the name of the child or as the Amplified translation of the bible puts it, the image of the child in the palm; not that God needs a reminder of my name or what I look like. Which mother does? I believe like every other reason for a tattoo, the mother is only portraying the significance of the child in her life. When you see a mother with a nostalgic smile on her face and her index finger tracing the outline of the child’s tattooed name or image in her other palm, you know there are some good thoughts running through her head including thoughts of appreciation.
From Romans 5:8, God reveals his tattooed arms and demonstrates He had mankind at heart in a spectacular way when His son, Jesus Christ hangs on the cross in place of the very rebels who are responsible for His arrest. The lyrics, “it wasn’t nails that held you to the cross. It was love” from the song “It was love” by Abandon is very striking. This is Jesus Christ, the one through whom the tree and the iron used to make the cross and nail are created; the one who sustains the soldier who pierced him with the nail. He himself, who is God, chooses to be a man with a network of sensitive and fully functional nerves and remains on the cross because He has all mankind in mind even the pharisees and the jeering crowd.
It is so heart-warming when your loved one, say your boyfriend, girlfriend or simply put, significant other tells you, you are in mind. This past Monday, as I lay on the floor, a thought strikes me. I do not think I had someone in mind. I do not remember exactly (You see God is not like me. He will remember.):
“I cannot seem to get you out of my mind. It is like you have been nailed to my brains.”
Since, God is love and it is for love Jesus dies on the cross, I know I was nailed to His brains and that is what kept Him nailed to the cross. God always has me in mind and He will never forget me.
Again, He says to Israel, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV)“
He loves me now and tomorrow when I am long gone. Let me stretch it and say, His love for me is the same even before the foundations of this earth is created and it is the same for every person and mankind as a whole.
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