THE PARADOX OF LOVE’S MEASURE
Of His fulness we all received, and grace for grace. – Joh_1:16
It is the immeasurable measure, the boundless bounds and dimensions of the love of Christ, which fires the Apostle’s thoughts when writing to the Ephesian Church (Eph_3:17-19). Of course he had no separate idea in his mind attaching to each of these measures of magnitude, but he gathered them all together simply to express the one thought of the greatness of Christ’s love.
Depth and height are the same dimension measured from opposite ends. The one begins at the top and goes down, the other begins at the bottom and goes up, but the surface is the same in either case. So we have the three dimensions of a solid here – breadth, length, and depth.
And I suppose that I may venture to use these expressions with a somewhat different purpose from that for which the Apostle employs them; and to see in each of them a separate and blessed aspect of the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
And that love which thus towers above us, and gleams the summit and the apex of the universe, like the shining cross on the top of some lofty cathedral spire, does not gleam there above us inaccessible, nor lie before us like some pathless precipice, up which nothing that has not wings can ever hope to rise; but the height of the love of Christ is a hospitable height, which can be scaled by us. Nay, rather, that heaven of love, which is “higher than our thoughts,” bends down, as by a kind of optical delusion the physical heaven seems to do, towards each of us, only with this blessed difference, that in the natural world the place where heaven touches earth is always the furthest point of distance from us; and in the spiritual world, the place where heaven stoops to me is always right over my head, and the nearest possible point to me. He has come to lift us to Himself. And this is the height of His love, that it bears us up, if we will, up and up to sit upon that throne where He Himself is enthroned.
So round about us all, as some sunny tropical sea may embosom in its violet waves a multitude of luxuriant and happy islets, so all of us, islanded on our little individual lives, lie in that great ocean of love, all the dimensions of which are immeasurable, and which stretches above, beneath, around, shoreless, tideless, bottomless, endless.
But remember! this ocean of love you can shut out of your lives. It is possible to plunge a jar into mid-Atlantic, further than soundings have ever descended, and to bring it up on deck as dry inside as if it had been lying on an oven. It is possible for us to live and move and have our being in that sea of love, and never to have got one drop of its richest gifts into our hearts or our lives. Open your heart for Him to come in by humble faith in His great sacrifice for you. For if Christ dwell in your heart by faith, then, and only then, will experience be your guide; and you will be able to comprehend the boundless greatness, the endless duration, the absolute perfection, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge,