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I've always thought that Christ's primary motivation for coming and dying for us was love. John 3:16 and "greater love has no man than this" and all that. But when I was losing a battle with insomnia overnight, a thought hit me. I'm sure Christ loves us. But was that His primary motivation? When you look at verses like John 3:16, "God" loved us so much that [God] sent Christ. And, while giving one's life is the ultimate sign of love, it is illogical to say that therefore if someone gives their life, they do it for that reason. I then thought about the prayer in the Garden. It was basically a "please don't make me do this, but I'll do it if you want me to" kind of thing. It is almost as if Christ's love for and obedience to the Father was His primary motivation.

What are your thoughts? God's motivation was love. But what was Christ's? Did He have more than one? Can you make a Biblical case for Christ going to the cross with a primary motivation of love? When I search on the word "because" or the phrase "for this reason", nothing pops out at me. The closest thing I can come up with for Christ's motivation is 2 Corinthians 5:15. "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." Not really what I was looking for. Am I missing something. Does the Bible clearly teach that Christ went to the cross primarily because He loved us and I just can't remember the verse that says that?
D.

Tags: Christ, cross, motivation

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John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

1 John 3:16 - By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.

So, yes, love was a huge motivator of Christ heading to the cross. But I think there are other motivators for heading to the cross. Xulon pointed out joy. And I would say one of Christ's purposes was, as King, to break the kingdom rule of God into our age:

Mark 1:14-15 - Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

Luke 4:43 - I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.

Bringing the kingdom rule of God meant living the life He did; bringing the power of God through miracles, healings, etc; showing the servant heart of the King; heading to the cross; rising from the dead; and ascending back to the Father where He had been previously to rule over all heaven and earth. This is the rule of God in our midst, the cross being one part, yet a major part, of it.
ScottL said:
John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

1 John 3:16 - By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.
I had thought of those two. But like I said, I'm not sure they point to a primary motivation. As I think about it, I am not sure God *can* have one motivation higher than another. It would be like asking which God has more of, mercy or love. So maybe the question should be changed. Can God or Christ be something or express something more than another? It seems to me that if God expresses something, anything at all, He does it full volume, as it were. D.
I understand what you are saying. It is interesting to ponder if God kind of has this over-arching purpose directing all other purposes (which I might explain as something about bring the rule of God to earth as it is in heaven, that earth and humanity might be restored). There is a book out there title Ultimate Intention. Under the ultimate intention of God, everything else proceeds. Or His ultimate character trait from which all others flow out from. Thus, for me, maybe an over-arching quality of God's nature is that He is first and foremost relational. Thus everything flows not only out of a desire to bring the rule of heaven to earth, but to relate to His creation.

It is interesting to ponder.
I don't think the primary motivation for Christ's death was love for Us but rather love (not merely obedience) for the Father. It was surely a motivation but I usually go with not the primary one (if we can categorize them logically.

For example xulon already pointed out the joy set before Him on His way to the cross but then we have Christ explaining things Himself in John 14:31that the world must learn that Jesus loves the Father and that He does exactly what His father commanded Him. So the world isn't understanding primarily that Christ loves the World but rather that the Son loves the Father.

Now some may jump and say that the primary motivation for the Son being Sent was because God loved the world (as John 3:16 would imply). But then we see Christ (still in the Upper Room discourse in the shadow of the impending cross) saying that just in the same way that the Father has loved the Son, so Christ has loved the disciples. NOw that's heavy since it implies that Jesus' love for the disciples is one that demands a heavy sacrifice on their part for others (as the performed parable in John 13 shows).

But the extent of the Love of the Father for the Son is no small thing. The Son does only what He sees the Father doing...and the Father shows Him everything. In fact, the Father sets aside His right to judge and gives it over to the Son. Before entering Jerusalem we hear the voice of God saying "This is my beloved Son, Hear Him!"

In the end it seems that the primary motivation of Christ's death was love for the Father and the primary motivation of the Father was love for the Son. They're pointing at each other and they do it for the world to find a true fully human relationship. So when we get to John 20 we see Jesus sending a message that He's going to His God and the disciples' God, His Father and Their Father.
Rey Reynoso said:
In the end it seems that the primary motivation of Christ's death was love for the Father and the primary motivation of the Father was love for the Son. They're pointing at each other and they do it for the world to find a true fully human relationship.
I like that. The more I study thinks like the Creation account or Revelation, the more I realize that it's all about Him. He is always the focus. D.
Ultimately, Everything God does is for His own glory, which He richly deserves.
Q. What is the chief end of man? A. To glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever!
"and every knee shall bow, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father."
Geezer

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