Read Romans 5:8
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)
Love comes in many forms. A kind word, a helpful act, warm affection, thoughtful gifts. Many of us hold on to various mementos of love: a letter, a photo, or perhaps just a fond memory. We all need to be loved and to know we are loved.
Followers of Jesus believe that the fact that they are loved by God is the bedrock reality of life. Our love for him is secondary to his love for us. And it is interesting to recognise that the shape of that love is a crude wooden cross. An ugly symbol of pain and torture. A sign of slow and certain death.
God’s love for us is not in the form of gushing sentiment. His love is not enfolded in sweetness and light. His love is shown by the one perfect man who ever lived slowly succumbing to death by shock and suffocation. Not at all pretty, but pretty effective and real at the same time.
Christians have come to realise that the love of God comes not in the shape of flowery poems or pink hearts but in the shape of a cross.