Does God Love Me?

Written by Cynthia Thomas

Edited by Allie Anson

We experience terrible things; we see and hear of terrible things happening to our loved ones and complete strangers alike. It is an almost daily occurrence. The most recent COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to really shake our faith. How can a loving God allow this to happen? Is He truly loving, or cruel? Or perhaps we have committed a sin, or sins, that we feel are unpardonable. In this article, we will go over what the Bible says about God’s love and the many everyday examples of God’s love for us.

The Bible has 100’s of verses discussing God’s love for us! The Bible tells us:

Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

John 3:16 (NIV)

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

1 John 4:10 (NIV)

10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

God loves us so much that he gave his one and only Son as a sacrifice to cover OUR sins. I am not sure many of us could do that! And Jesus didn’t die a quick death either – he died by scourging and crucifixion, which was a terrible, drawn-out way to die.

Medical doctor, Dr. C. Truman Davis, wrote an informative article on Jesus’s death called, “A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.” It outlines in gruesome detail how Jesus died and the terrible price he paid for us.

The physical passion of Christ began in Gethsemane. Here Jesus spends time in agony and prayer. His sweat became as drops of blood (Luke 22:44). This medical condition is well documented as Hematidrosis. Under great emotional distress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, mixing blood with sweat. This process might well have produced marked weakness and shock.

Jesus is arrested in the middle of the night and brought before the Sanhedrin and the High Priest, Caiaphus. Here the first physical trauma was inflicted; a soldier struck Jesus across the face while he remained silent as he was questioned by Caiaphus. He was then blindfolded, taunted, spat on, and struck in the face.

“In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, Jesus is taken across the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. You are, of course, familiar with Pilate’s action in attempting to pass responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate.” (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

“It was then, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.  Preparations for the scourging were carried out when the Prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful the Romans would have made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter, but the Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.  The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs.” (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

At first the thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.  The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.  The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood.” (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. Flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used in bundles for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding, the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.”  (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. Already having adhered to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, its removal causes excruciating pain just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, and almost as though He were again being whipped the wounds once more begin to bleed.  In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross is tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion begins its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa.” (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.  The centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, selects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus follows, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock, until the 650 yard journey from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed.  Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the patibulum on the ground and Jesus quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes and the titulus reading, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” is nailed in place.”  (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain — the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves.” (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.  At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.” (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences recorded:” 

“The first, looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.””

The second, to the penitent thief, “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.””

The third, looking down at the terrified, grief-stricken adolescent John — the beloved Apostle — he said, “Behold thy mother.” Then, looking to His mother Mary, “Woman behold thy son.”” 

The fourth cry is from the beginning of the 22nd Psalm, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?”” 

Jesus experienced hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins — a terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.  One remembers again the 22nd Psalm, the 14th verse: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.””  (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level; the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissue; the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps His fifth cry, “I thirst.”  One remembers another verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death.” A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman legionaries, is lifted to His lips. He apparently doesn’t take any of the liquid.” (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

The body of Jesus is now in extremes, and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brings out His sixth words, possibly little more than a tortured whisper, “It is finished.”  His mission of atonement has completed. Finally He can allow his body to die.” 

With one last surge of strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father! Into thy hands I commit my spirit.”  (“A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by Dr. C. Truman Davis)

Both God and Jesus knew what was going to happen, and yet they went forward anyway! This great sacrificial act proves without question the love of God and His son, Jesus Christ! God’s great, BIG love is described in Ephesians 3:17b:

17 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Many beautiful songs have been written about God’s BIG love, such as  “Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” by Samuel Trevor Francis, and a newer one by Stuart Townend called “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.

The Good News, of course, came 3 days later when Jesus defeated Death and was Resurrected!

Luke 24:6-7 (NIV)

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

His love is not dependent on our perfection or actions. He loves us regardless of our sins, no matter how terrible! However, it does require us to set aside our pride, confess the sin, and ask forgiveness. And 100% of the time, He will forgive us! As one of my favorite role models of all time, Corrie Ten Boom, would say, “God throws our sins into the deepest sea and puts out a ‘no fishing’ sign!” (Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom, page 53).

Acts 3:19 (NIV)

19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”

Don’t trust your emotions; they can deceive you. Instead, trust Christ and what He has done for you. Invite Him to come into your life today, and then thank Him every morning for His unchanging love for you. (BillyGraham.org)

We don’t always understand God’s actions or inaction. Sometimes, in hindsight, we can see the purpose behind tragic events, but many times we will never know. That is where faith and trust in Jesus come in. But know this, without question, God never stopped loving you or me. He is all-knowing, always present, perfect and wise. And we are terrible sinners who deserve nothing.

And yet He gives. Food. Shelter. Clothing. Family. Friends. Life. Flowers. Animals. Plants. Beauty. Stars. Planets. His Word, the Bible. His son, Jesus. He has given so much to His creation. Why? Because He loves us.

Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Davis, Truman C. “A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” cbn.com, Web. 4 April 2020.

For additional resources to continue your personal study on God’s great love for YOU, check out God Loves You by Dr. David Jeremiah, 66 Ways God Loves You by Jennifer Rothchild, or Love Beyond Reason by John Ortberg.

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