Excerpted from “The Eleven Commandment” – Lehman Strauss (1946)
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you. that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).
A man who is about to leave this life will doubtless express the deepest feelings of his soul. One may not realize that death is near, and die in silence. But when our Lord knew that His hour had come, He gathered His disciples about Him and spoke to them concerning the deep things of God. There were statements uttered by Christ in the Passover Chamber that the disciples had never heard before. It was in the Upper Room of fellowship where he spoke about “The love of Christ which passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). In issuing this New Commandment, “That ye love one another,” He was setting forth the Sovereign of Christian Love. Whatever authority of divine approval accompanied the Mosaic Law, we may be sure that this Sovereign Law carries the same authority plus the Personal testimony of the living Christ.
The New Commandment that the Lord enjoined upon His friends and He had faithfully demonstrated before them by His life. And now it is to cost Him that life to utter the words: “As I have loved you.” Indeed, Christ alone was the perfect Pattern of Love. He alone could interpret the word in its fullest meaning. If we are to learn the Law of Love we must look at God’s Son, for in Him is the love of God perfected. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
In ages past God had been speaking through His prophets at different times and in various ways, revealing Himself as the God of holiness, might, truth, and mercy. But not until Jesus Christ came into the world had man fully known the love of God. In more ways than one the angels are superior to men, and for centuries they too were God’s messengers to reveal Himself to the world. But when prophets or angels stand beside the Son of God it is evident that He holds the position of incomparable majesty and glory. God “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son” (Heb. 1:2). The heart of the Father was never fully revealed in His infinite love until His only begotten Son left Heaven to dwell among men. Jesus is the highest revelation of God. God is love and, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared (or fully revealed) Him” (John 1:18).
We can see in Christ the Pattern of Love in His submission. Only love could draw the Eternal One from the Ivory Palaces into a world of woe.
Words of Grace for Strength
If you want something done right, do it yourself. Not meaning to be flip nor disrespectful, but in essence, this is what God purposed to do when the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world as the means of our salvation. As the only means of our salvation, for there is none in any other but Jesus. Nothing and no one, angels and prophets notwithstanding, can convey the message and majesty of God like Jesus can.
It doesn’t get any better than this. Again, in all seriousness. We have been given the Son’s death on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins and our eternal salvation. We have His words, His message, His promises. There is no where else to go, there is no better deal, there can be nothing better than the gift of salvation divinely promised and guaranteed.
All you need is love. Not kidding here either. The Sovereign Love of God, to which we are commanded to engage in, is able to overcome all the problems of the world, all that ails us and bogs us down. His love lifts us above all earthly cares and concerns, makes the urgent and important fade if it is not centered in and focused on Him. He is our Rock and our Redeemer, He is our Lord and Savior.
Love is God’s Sovereign Law and in many respects, an Eleventh Commandment. What more powerful way for Him to show His love, what clearer and more impactful way for us to see, understand and grasp hold of that love, than to realize He sent His Son to die for us so that we could live with Him.