Dutch Theologian Hugo Grotius, writes on Ephesians 3:18:
“The divine goodness in its breadth affects all men, and in its length, endures through all ages; in its depth it reaches to the lowest depression, and in its height it carries him to the highest glory.”
If the breadth of Christ’s love directs our minds to the scope of men to whom salvation is received, and its length sets our hearts on the distance and time over which God’s mercy in Christ spans, our meditation on the depth of Christ’s love is a reminder of just how deep the love of God has condescended, in Christ, to effectively save a man from his sin. How else can one who is desperately wicked (Jer 17:9), dead in trespasses and sins (Rom 3:23, Eph 2:5) from birth (Ps 51:5), hopelessly separated from God (Is 59:2), under His wrath and condemnation (Rom 1:18, Jn 3:36), and destined for hell (Mt 25:41), be saved? If the saving arm of God could not reach to the lowest depths, our race would be hopelessly lost. The depth of Christ’s love is revealed in that while we were yet sinners (even enemies of God), Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). It is by this grand demonstration, on the cross, that we know love (1 Jn 3:16). The depth of Christ’s love in particular is revealed in how He condescended to take upon Himself the frailty of human flesh, to subject Himself to human temptation and human weakness (while remaining without sin). It is further made known as He who knew no sin, became sin, in order that we might be counted the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21).
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He would give His only Son,
To make a wretch His treasure!
As we meditate upon the depth to which God descended to save our soul, we can be greatly encouraged as Christians, that whatever deep pit or trial we might find ourselves in, the depth of the love of Christ lies deeper still. David cries (Ps 69:1-2, 15): Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me…Let not the floodwater overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me. Likewise, when my soul is in the pit of despair, deep calls to deep; from the depth of my sorrow, what else can I call upon, but the depth of the deeper mercy of God which lies yet underneath me. Remember downcast soul: When I was sinking down, beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul, Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.
This is a great comfort for the godly, who are sinking – that the mercy of Christ lies deeper! If love found a way to raise you, a formerly a dead person, to life, you can be sure that the same love will find a way to comfort you and deliver you from the deepest pit to which any earthly trial or despair might have abandoned you in. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deut 33:27). His arms are not only long enough to save, but strong enough to lift any Christian from his deepest distress and misery. Take comfort, brother sister, in the depth of the love of Christ!