I think everyone who has ever been born has a dad. I think everyone who came into this world has a built-in desire to be loved by a dad. I think when you were a child, you wanted your father to show you compassion. I think you wanted your father to know and understand and enjoy you. I think that you came into this world as frail and vulnerable as dust – and you would give anything to have a father who knew that and treated you accordingly. I think whether you’re willing to admit it or not, you want to be able to say to your father, “You have always loved me.”
Psalm 103:13-14 says, “As a father shows compassion to this children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
Truth is, earthly fathers, including myself, have never perfectly loved their children, knowing how frail and dust-like they are. By God’s grace, we as dads have the incredible privilege of imaging to our children the Father’s love, albeit, less than admirable at times. But there is a Father-Son relationship that offers a Father’s perfect love to anyone who will fear, trust, admire, and delight herself in this Father:
“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:23-26).
Let me ask you a question: do you know yourself as vulnerable and frail as dust or do you know yourself as a tough, self-made, invincible, “I can make it on my own” kind of person? Do you know yourself as David does – one who needs a Father in heaven to treat you, not according to your sins, but with mercy and steadfast love? (Psalm 103:10-12).
Or have you forgotten how dust-like you are?
Though Jesus was fully God he was also fully Man and therefore knew himself as completely helpless without his Father. But Jesus also knew that he was loved by his Father – even at the most excruciating time in his life. According to Jesus’ prayer to his Father just before he was crucified, we learn these four things:
1. Jesus wants sinners to know how much his Father loves him
2. Jesus wants you to know the same love that his Father has for him
3. Jesus knows that he has always been loved by his Father
4. Jesus prays that you will know his Father’s love
How can Jesus feel so loved by his Father on the night of his crucifixion? Because he knows that his Father aims to exalt him above all other names and reputations. Jesus knows that the cross is the means by which sinners will come to know his Father. And to know God the Father who created all things is worth it. Why?
What if you could still feel loved by your Father when people call you names – like they said to Jesus?
What if you could still feel confident and filled with hope when people reject you – like they rejected Jesus?
What if you could still feel cherished when you’re suffering and all alone – like Jesus felt?
And what if you could still know yourself as forgiven and loved even though you are dust, even though your earthly father did not love you as he ought, and even though you deserve the full justice for your sins?
This is why Jesus died – and it was worth it! To give to undeserving sinners the same love that Jesus has always known from his own Father is his pursuit.
Repent of your sins and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ was left alone on the cross to suffer for your transgressions. Believe that he was buried and rose again on the third day – believe that you can know what Jesus prayed for on that wretched night – as a father has compassion on his children, the Lord has compassion on those who know they need it.
Jesus wants to introduce you to his Father in heaven – so that you too can say, “I love you dad” – and then hear a voice from heaven to you, through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the work of Jesus Christ, “And I love you.”
Our Father who is in heaven
Cause your name to be revered and cherished,
Cause your rule and reign to come to my life
Here on earth as it is done in heaven.
Because we are dust, Give us this day our daily needs.
And because we want to be forgiven through repentance, we forgive those who also repent.
And lead us not into trials and testings, but if you do, keep us from the evil one who wants to destroy our love
To you belong all the glory,