A Beautiful Love Letter
Read John 1:14-18; John 3:16-18; Luke 24:13-27
The way I look at it, Karen Tumulty found a treasure while she was doing research for a biography she was writing about Nancy Reagan. Among the former First Lady's personal effects, the Washington Post columnist found a handwritten letter from President Ronald Reagan, dated August 7, 1982.
There, in a cardboard box was a letter that President Reagan had evidently sent to his father-in-law, Loyal Davis. Mr. Davis was a neurosurgeon who had previously indicated that he didn't believe in the deity of Christ, the virgin birth or the existence of heaven or hell. He was dying, and there were precious things his son-in-law wanted him to know. I think what is especially beautiful to me is the kindness and frankness of the words Ronald Reagan wrote. They were written with boldness and respect.
In the letter, Loyal Davis read about the simplicity of the Gospel, how a man can receive God's love when he knows that he has nothing to give in return. President Reagan referenced prophecies and how Jesus fulfilled specific predictions concerning His birthplace, Micah 5:2 and that His coming into the world would be miraculous, Isaiah 7:14. The President wrote that he understood that the truth of the virgin birth would be difficult for Loyal Davis because of his medical knowledge, and he politely but unashamedly affirmed that it could only be believed by his father-in-law's acceptance of it as a miraculous event. .
Then Ronald Reagan came to the crux of the matter, indicating that either Jesus was Who the Bible said He was or He was a fraud. Then in beautiful simplicity, President Reagan asked the vital question. Would a fraud submit to a horrific death if He could avoid it by simply admitting that He had lied about Who He was? Ronald Reagan went on to remind his father-in-law of how Jesus had changed the world, even though He owned nothing of value and didn't travel extensively.
In the letter's summation, President Reagan spoke about the love Loyal Davis and his wife Edith shared and how what God offers us is even sweeter than what is enjoyed here. Loyal and Edith could be together, the President said, if Mr. Davis, having come to the end of his strength, would trust God's infinite goodness. The letter is signed: "Love, Ronnie."
Could there be a sweeter love letter, written to highlight the sweetest love that has ever been demonstrated, Romans 5:8; John 3:16? Is there any better way to say I love you than the way the President spoke truth to Loyal Davis? I wonder? Did this dying man receive the love that was held out to him? Like Loyal Davis, each of us has received a beautiful love letter, and it has been held out to us in two precious ways.
1. The Entire Bible.
In Luke 24:13-27, Jesus affirms this fact. Wouldn't you have loved to have been walking on that road to hear Jesus' teaching? Can you imagine the beauty of His words as He laid out the pictures, types and prophecies and how each one had pointed to Him? This week, millions of people took a chance on the Mega Millions lottery. The odds of winning are said to be 1 in 302.6 million. Unlikely for sure. Let's think about prophecy. Mathematician Peter Stoner said that the possibility of Jesus fulfilling only eight of the 60 major prophecies about Him was 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000. That number reminds us that Jesus' fulfillment of even eight prophecies is so much more unlikely than even winning the lottery. Yet, Jesus with the perfect precision that only God can predict fulfilled each one, Isaiah 46:9-10. What about the prophecies that haven't yet been fulfilled? The accuracy that we have already seen concerning the truth in God's Love Letter assures us that everything else that He has said will also come to fruition. As surely as He came in humility the first time, Zechariah 9:9, Jesus will return, and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, Isaiah 45:23; Philippians, 2:9-11.
2. Jesus Himself.
In John 1:14-18, we are boldly told that Jesus is God and that He walked here, showing everyone what God is like. He is the Living Love Letter, demonstrating the heart and the power of God, John 14:9. He affirmed that all the scriptures pointed to Him, John 5:39. He let them know this even prior to the time that He walked on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24:13-27. Imagine the beauty and boldness of the words Jesus spoke to the religious leadership, telling them that He was the One spoken of in the very scriptures they searched. Yet, for the most part, they didn't recognize Jesus as Savior, either in the sacred writings or while He was doing miracles among them. Because of this, they "tore up" the Living Love Letter. Yet, because His death was accepted by the Father as perfect atonement for our sin, He rose victoriously, never to die again, Acts 2:22-33. Every time we tell someone about Jesus, as Ronald Reagan did, we hold out to them the Living Love Letter. The smallest child who belongs to Him or the one who may be old and lacking strength can "send the most beautiful letter", highlighting God's love.
Another wondrous thing? Our words need not be eloquent and we don't have to be well known or prominent, as President Reagan was. The only thing we need is a love for the Lord and the desire for others to know about the greatest love story ever told, John 3:16-18.