What Is Love?
If the whole universe is One Person, and what we produce is what we are, what kind of person is He? For the universe must be a representation of its author. Of course we know the answer, but how fundamentally important. John gives it. Jesus made that three-worded statement, “God is spirit.” John makes the three-worded statement, “God is love.” That is all that need be said. “Is,” not “has.” If He is love, then He is nothing but love; and Paul said love fulfills all laws of the universe.
And what is love? In a word, love is for others. If I love, my interest and involvement is to meet the other person’s need, no matter what happens to me in the course of it. And this is our God of the universe. He is love. He exists for His universe, not His universe for Him. If His universe is fulfilled, He is fulfilled. If it is happy and harmonious, He is happy. That is why He is safe as God. In all human history, because we are self-interested, not other-interested, all those who have power over others turn it to their own advantage. It is they for him, not he for them. That has been the curse of dictators, kings, rulers, tyrants, yes and capitalism—turning what they control to their own advantage. But God is love. It is not the universe for His convenience, but He for it. His pleasure is when we are pleased and satisfied. The final title given Him in the Bible is “The Lamb,” in the book of Revelation. It comes no less than twenty-seven times. “The Lamb on the throne”: “The Lamb is the light thereof”: “The marriage supper of the Lamb”: “Follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth.” Why Lamb? It seems curious to liken Almighty God to a helpless lamb; in worldly terms ridiculous. But what is the character of a lamb in the pasture? Helpless availability. You can do what you like with it. If it conveniences you to kill it, kill it. If to eat it, eat it. And this is the nature of God, only that He is deliberately, and not helplessly, available. He is love; if therefore to kill Him meets our need, kill Him. If to eat Him, eat Him. Which is precisely what He is in human history, the Lamb slain for us at Calvary. The Lamb eaten by us in His body and blood, as symbolized in the Lord’s supper.