From Surrender to Love by David Benner:
“Deep down … something within us seems to remember the Garden within which we once existed. Part of us longs to return; we know that this is where we belong. But another part of us seems bent on living out our illusions of freedom and autonomy. We tell ourselves that we can create other gardens in which to find soul rest and encounter love. But what we create are weed-infested gardens of compulsion and idolatry. Instead of rest we get addiction and self-preoccupation. And our restlessness grows, our hearts yearning for something both familiar and unattainable.
“Faint residues of a memory of Perfect Love seem to flit at the edges of human consciousness. Such memories are so weak that they are easily ignored. They remain, however, the core of our deepest desires — all human longings pointing to the Source….
“Realizing we had forgotten our story, God sent Jesus as the personification of love. The Son came to reveal the character of the Father. The Son came to bring us back to the Father — back to love. Jesus came to remind us what true love really is. Christians and non-Christians alike widely affirm the nobility of Jesus’ character. He was so obviously a good man. His love was obvious, his teachings were noble. But his life, death and resurrection all point us beyond this. They point us toward the character of God. This was what Jesus himself taught. With truly remarkable boldness he asserted that his life revealed God. The love he demonstrated was the love what was his source. It was the love he knew from eternity as the Son of the prodigious Father.
“Who else, then, to better remind us of our own story? Who else to better bring the faint residual memories of the garden of love in from the periphery of consciousness to the core of our being? The story of Jesus is the story of love personified. We miss the point when we simply try to do what he tells us to do. And we miss the point when we merely try to follow the pattern of his life. His life points us back to his own Source. His life is intelligible only when it is understood as the personification of divine love.”