We know what something is worth to someone by what they are willing to pay for it. Consider, then, what our heavenly bridegroom was willing to pay to redeem us and make us his bride. Out of his love for us, the all-holy God was willing to do nothing less than to go to the extremity of becoming our sin (2 Cor 5:21) and becoming our God-forsaken curse (Gal 3:13). This means that God’s love for us led him to go to the extreme of somehow becoming his own antithesis. In other words, God revealed how much we are worth to him by somehow becoming anti-God!
God could not have gone further than he in fact did to free us from our bondage and make us his bride. And if the worth of something or someone to another is determined by what they are willing to pay to acquire it, then the fact that God was willing to pay the greatest price that could possible be paid can only mean that we have the greatest possible worth to God.
The unsurpassable price God paid for us means that we have unsurpassable worth to God. God could not possibly love us more than he actually does, and we could not matter more to God than we actually do.
This love lies at the core of God’s being. “God is love” (1 John 4:8), as we explored in this post. God loves us with the very same love that God eternally is. Calvary is what the love of the Trinity looks like when it encompasses us. Jesus reflects this truth when he prays that we would know that the Father loves us with the very same love he has for his own eternal Son (John 17:26).
In other words, God loves us with the same love he has for himself as Father, Son, and Spirit. When we receive this love, we are incorporated into Christ and therefore into the eternal triune community so that we receive and reflect the very same perfect love that unites God throughout eternity.
The God whose love led him to go to the infinite extreme of offering up his Son to become our sin and our God-forsakenness also gives us, as a result of this unsurpassable sacrifice, “all things” (Rom 8:22). It’s no wonder that Paul declared that God’s love for us in Christ “surpasses knowledge” (Eph 3:18-19).
All of this is part of the magnificent revelation and promise of the cross. On the cross God reveals his perfect love for us and reveals our unsurpassable worth to him. And on the cross God promises to always love us like this and to always ascribe this worth to us.
Even more, the fact that God’s love for us is demonstrated “while we were still sinners” (Rom 5:8) makes it clear that God’s love for us is completely based on God’s character, not ours. Even when we are in bondage to sin and are thinking, feeling, and/or acting like God’s enemies, we can trust that it remains as true as ever that we could not be loved more than we actually are, and could not matter more to God than we actually do. God’s perfect, unsurpassable, unwavering love for us is also unconditional.
—Adapted from Benefit of the Doubt, pages 240-242