The Love of Christ Surpasses Knowledge
That you, 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.
How do you capture the infinite dimensions of the love of Christ with words? In these verses in Ephesians Paul tries to turn three dimensions into four – here’s how that verse reads in the Nate’s Artistic License Version, “may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to experience the love of Christ that blows your mind.”
The picture here could be of a vast ocean of love being poured into an array of small cups – utterly unable to contain all the knowledge or fullness of God’s love, yet full and overflowing. Or of a parched and dying man arriving at a huge waterfall of pure, cold water. He doesn’t stress about his inability to drink the whole waterfall, but he enjoys every deep gulp and knows he can drink and drink and the water will not run out!
Sometimes we get used to having an ocean of love and our minds cease to be blown – so stay with me as we look at one dimension of Christ’s love that we don’t always look at. Imagine we are sitting in a small group right now of ten to fifteen people and I ask you to share your most embarrassing moment. What are you going to share with us? As each person shares and it comes around to your turn, you’d weigh the light and trivial stories shared so far and in similar fashion you’d reach for your fifth most embarrassing moment.
But your most embarrassing moment isn’t even what just came to mind, those are funny little stories. To be embarrassed is to be ashamed. So, your most embarrassing moments are actually the things you are most ashamed took place. This is deeper and darker; we don’t share these stories around the campfire and laugh. These are things we would give anything to undo, to erase, to take back. But you can’t.
What if I held out big red button to you and told you that if you pushed it, every single moment of shame from your life would disappear from your life and would transfer to mine? Those bad things would never have happened and you would be completely free of them. Some of you would see this as the chance of a lifetime and would tackle each other on the way up to push it. Others would feel that would be a horrible and unfair thing to do to me! Both feelings would be valid.
We see Jesus in the bible, holding out his nail-pierced hands, with a scar in his side, and he says to you – “’you don’t even have to push it, I already did.”
It is finished.
The founder and perfecter of our faith, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. He despised the shame, just as you despise your shame – but he did it for the joy of taking it away from you, bearing it for you.
At the cross, Christ loved me. I experience that love, I know that love, and when I die, I will really know, really experience the exchange of all my sin, my shame, my guilt, my brokenness completely removed – that is a love that blows my mind.