Ephesians 3:14–19 ESV
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
This morning I was contemplating the Love of Christ in my devotions. I was reading in Ephesians and chapter 3 verses 17–18 use 4 lengths of measurement to invite us to understand the love of Christ for us. It is wide, long, high, and deep. But what are the faithful to learn from these descriptions? How wide is Christ’s love? How Long? How high? How deep?
One could say that these distances are purely metaphorical and are not intended to be contemplated individually, but as a collective whole intending to say Christ’s love is unending. While I believe that is the overarching message the believer is to gain, I also believe that in reflecting on each descriptor, the believer gains a better understanding of why Christ’s love for the faithful is never-ending.
So how wide is Christ’s love for his people?
It is wide enough to span the temporal ages. From before the creation of the world until the ages of glory when the redeemed are walking in the New Heaven and the New Earth, it is Christ’s love that has been active. Revelation 13:8 tells the faithful that their names were “written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” This same apocalyptic work paints the glorious picture of the bride of Christ being united to her groom at the end of the ages (Rev. 21:9ff). Christ’s love for his people is wide enough to span the eons and never fail.
But His love is also long.
How long? you may ask. It is long enough to bridge the great divide between Creator and creature, between heaven and earth. The distance between any created being and its creator is immeasurable. It is incalculable. And yet, Christ’s love for his people stretches from God to people, it bridges the unbridgeable gap. It originates in the throne room of God outside the realms of Creation and penetrates the earth to rescue and save the lost. As John 1:10–13 reminds “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:10–13). Christ’s love is long enough to touch is this world.
Christ’s love is also high.
It stretches so high that its end cannot be seen. It can never be exhausted, used up, or come to an end. It is high enough to be beyond comprehension and limit. It is a love that never fails, that never seeks its own, that never exhausts itself. It is the love that 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 describes, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” This is how high Christ’s love is—beyond selfishness and into the realm of pure selflessness.
Finally, Christ’s love is deep.
It is deep enough to reach through the grave and into hell to rescue people who are deserving of the very wrath of God, sinners who are enrolled on the registry of hell. It is deep enough that “For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The love of Christ is so deep that it can enter the grave and rise triumphant from it, leading people from death to life. It is deep enough that it didn’t stop short of the pit our sin had cast us into, rather He entered into the filth and drew us out, one at a time, individually and completely.
Christ’s love never fails.
Taken all together, this is quite a compelling picture of the Love of Christ for his people. So the next time you are struggling to believe God loves you, remind yourself of how wide and long and high and deep is the Love of Christ. And then, be encouraged and of God cheer. Christ’s love never fails.