God’s Compassion at the Cross

There’s a worship song we sing frequently at my church that always puts a lump in my throat. The chorus goes:

Your love never fails, and never gives up, 
It never runs out on me.

Maybe some of my fellow worshipers can get through the lyrics without tearing up. Perhaps they think of a love that simply runs dry or expires like milk that’s gone past its due date. But I know from experience that love’s exit is not always so passive. Sometimes the one you love actually turns and runs away, leaving their commitment (and your heart) in shreds. We all know what it’s like to be jilted, abandoned, or left behind. Those wounds have a way of warping our hearts, distorting the way we see God. 

  • Perhaps we live in constant fear of God’s judgment. 
  • Maybe our days are filled with spiritual striving, attempts to create a savings account of God’s favor. 
  • We try to hide our sin because we doubt God’s forgiveness. 
  • Or we feel crushed by the weight of our failure.
  • There are times when our needs feel so great and God seems so huge that we wonder if our weaknesses are even on His radar screen. 
  • Or we live in fear that God’s love and compassion will run out on us, that He will see our need and choose to turn away. 

When these are the tapes that play in our head, we need eyes to see the cross for what it truly is—a monument to Christ’s compassion. 

They took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. (John 19:16–18)

This is love in action! 

Spiritually speaking we were all as dead, stuck in our sin and destined for the death sin requires. Yet Jesus moved toward us with compassion. His sacrifice saved us from the law of sin and death.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:1–2)

It was Jesus who declared, “Greater love has no one that this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and it was Jesus who lived out this truth spectacularly. 

Jesus put the greatest love ever, His love, into action with every step He took toward Golgotha. His love was on full display as He hung on the cross. His sacrifice is a compassionate response to our need. 

Truly, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36). 

When you doubt God’s grace or fret He won’t show compassion to you again, consider the lengths He went to to demonstrate His deep love. He does not throw up His hands in frustration at your need, but He spread out His arms to put His love into action. 

Excerpted from Uncommon Compassion by Erin Davis.

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager … read more …

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