“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet…”
This quote is from Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s classic story of love lived out in its bitter and sweet experiences. February is a month in which we celebrate loving relationships. Our traditional holiday of Valentine’s Day brings to mind roses, chocolate, hearts, and jewels. It is a holiday symbolic of love. A day for children to share the love of friendships by exchanging heart-shaped cards and sweets with friends. A day for husbands, wives and sweethearts to celebrate their romantic love with gifts like roses, chocolates, and fragrant perfumes.
God’s love for us is also distinctly fragrant like the rose and bitter sweet like dark chocolate. Jesus is the symbol and the proof of God’s great love for us. He came to this world to share the love of God with us, and to give his life as a sacrifice. “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
Like chocolate, we see his sacrifice as bitter and sweet. Jesus went through bitter suffering on the cross to gain sweet victory over sin and death, which he gives to his faithful followers. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?…But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57) In this month symbolized by the heart, our prayer is for you to understand the riches and depths of Jesus’ wonderful love, which he poured out on Calvary and to experience his loving intercession right now, as he sits at the right hand of the heavenly Father.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalms 34:8)