“Christ’s love is an active, working love. Just as the shepherd did not sit still bewailing his lost sheep, and the woman did not sit still bewailing her lost money, so our blessed Lord did not sit still in heaven pitying sinners.
He left the glory which He had with the Father, and humbled Himself to be made in the likeness of man. He came down into the world to seek and save that which was lost.
He never rested till He had made atonement for our transgressions, brought in everlasting righteousness, provided eternal redemption, and opened a door of life to all who are willing to be saved.
Christ’s love is a self-denying love. The shepherd brought his lost sheep home on his own shoulders rather than leave it in the wilderness.
The woman lighted a candle, and swept the house, and searched diligently, and spared no pains, till she found her lost money.
And just so did Christ not spare Himself, when he undertook to save sinners. ‘He endured the cross, despising the shame.’ He ‘laid down His life for His friends.’ Greater love than this cannot be shown. (John 15:13. Heb. 12:2.)
Christ’s love is a deep and mighty love. Just as the shepherd rejoiced to find his sheep, and the woman to find her money, so does the Lord Jesus rejoice to save sinners. It is a real pleasure to Him to pluck them as brands from the burning.
It was His ‘meat and drink,’ when upon earth, to finish the work which He came to do. He felt straitened in spirit till it was accomplished. It is still His delight to show mercy. He is far more willing to save sinners than sinners are to be saved.
Let us strive to know something of this love of Christ. It is a love that truly passeth knowledge. It is unspeakable and unsearchable. It is that on which we must wholly rest our souls, if we would have peace in time and glory in eternity.
If we take comfort in our own love to Christ, we are building on a sandy foundation. But if we lean on Christ’s love to us, we are on a rock.”
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke, Vol. 2 (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1879), 175-76. Ryle is commenting on Luke 15:1-10.