Portrait of Love Stronger than
By Jeanne Kun
Set me as
a seal upon your heart,
as a seal
upon your arm;
is strong as death.
(Song of Solomon
In the Old Testament, God’s love for his people
was reflected in the covenant he made with them.
The prophets often described this covenant as a
betrothal or compared it to the relationship
between a husband and his bride. In the New
Testament, God’s covenant was fulfilled in
Jesus, who is the fullness of the Father’s love:
“God so loved the world that he gave his only
Son, that whoever believes in him should not
perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Mary Magdalene’s love for Jesus knew no limits.
She had experienced his love and its power when
he drove seven demons away from her, and she
responded with a grateful, loving heart. So
great was her devotion to Jesus that she
accompanied him as he went about his ministry
and braved the horror of Golgotha to stand
faithfully by him as he was crucified. Even when
her beloved Lord was laid in the tomb, Mary’s
love did not die. Indeed, her ardor grew more
intense when his body was not to be found, and
she sought it with longing.
Mary’s love was stronger than death, enduring
beyond the grave. Her seeking and her love were
rewarded with the appearance of her risen
Lord – and, ultimately, with the joy of
beholding him and loving him forever in heaven.
Through Jesus Christ, God lavishes his love on
each of us – and Mary Magdalene offers us an
example of how to love him in return. When St.
Bernard of Clairvaux was once asked why and how
much God should be loved, he replied, “My answer
is that God himself is the reason why he should
be loved. As for how he is to be loved, there is
to be no limit to that love.” May our love for
Jesus be as limitless and as immeasurable as
Read and prayerfully reflect on these
additional Scripture passages that describe
God’s love and the love of those who ardently
long for him:
O God, thou art my God, I seek thee,
my soul thirsts for thee;
my flesh faints for thee,
as in a dry and weary land
where no water is.
So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary,
beholding thy power and glory.
Because thy steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise thee.
So I will bless thee as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on thy name.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my soul shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of
he has covered me with the robe of
as a bridegroom decks himself with a
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the
so shall your God rejoice over you.
(Isaiah 61:10; 62:5)
And I will betroth you to me for
I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in
in steadfast love, and in mercy.
I will betroth you to me in faithfulness;
and you shall know the LORD.
What then shall we say to this? If God
is for us, who is against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up
for us all,
will he not also give us all things with
Who shall bring any charge against God’s
It is God who justifies; who is to condemn?
Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was
raised from the dead,
who is at the right hand of God, who indeed
intercedes for us?
Who shall separate us from the love of
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than
through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor
nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all
will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In this the love of God was made
manifest among us,
that God sent his only Son into the world,
so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we loved God but that
he loved us
and sent his Son to be the expiation for our
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to
love one another.
No man has ever seen God; if we love one
God abides in us and his love is perfected in
(1 John 4:9-12)
This article first appeared in the
April 2008 Issue of Living Bulwark.
from My Lord and My God! A
Scriptural Journey with the Followers
Jesus by Jeanne Kun (The Word
Among Us Press, © 2004). Used
Kun is a noted author and a senior woman
leader in the Word
Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
USA. Jeanne Kun is also an active member and
past president of Bethany
top image: Mary Magdelene meets the Risen
Christ, painted by Fra Angelico