(Recommended reading John 3 – quoted scriptures below from NLT)
There are verses from the Bible that we have heard and/or read repeatedly. They are verses so meaningful that we can quote them word-for-word. However, I believe that regardless of how often we come across certain verses or how familiar they are, we can and do forget the depth of meaning they contain.
It seems that the verse that is most familiar, but because of that familiarity can almost be rendered impotent, is John 3:16. Jesus said: “’For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.’” (Verse 16)
Let me explain what I mean. How long has it been since you have really thought about the depth of meaning in that verse? In reality, have you ever thought about the importance of it, or just taken it for granted?
Oh sure, it is easy to think we have given it the thought and consideration it deserves. But, it is too easy to get complacent about those things that are most familiar to us. So, let us take a bit of time and take another look at those words.
“God loved the world so much” – the depth of the love referred to here is likely a deeper love than any of us, as mere humans, can even fathom. There is no doubt that we experience deep love for people closest to us in our lives – first our parents and siblings, then a spouse, our children/grandchildren, etc. There may even be people in our lives that are such close and dear friends that we grow to love them as much as any of our family members. For all these people, we may love them so deeply that we would sacrifice anything for them and their lives – even our own life. [Emphasis mine]
But, as we expand to people outside this closest inner circle, to casual friends and acquaintances, what would we be willing to do for them? Sacrificing our own life so that they might live would not likely be within our scope of love and care. Then as you move further out to people that we do not even know – well…giving our life for theirs? Nope. Very doubtful.
So, considering that God the Father has a love so deep that He was willing to give the ultimate for us is remarkable. Jesus – God, the Son – came from the perfection of heaven to live here on this imperfect earth as a human in order to save us all. While here, Jesus was tempted with every temptation possible, yet He never relented, He remained perfect, leading by example.
When the time arrived for Him to give up His life, to shed His own blood, in order that we could all have a chance to live, He suffered terribly. He was tortured before they led Him out to be killed in the most horrendous of ways to die. He gave His life for those He would never know face-to-face, even for the lowest and most horrible of humankind.
The second half of that verse says “…so that everyone who believes in Him…” What it does not say is that His sacrifice was only for those alive at that time or only His family and closest friends. No, it is a very inclusive statement, it says everyone! Our reward for being included in that exclusive group of “everyone” and simply believing, is to have eternal life with God in heaven. We are saved from the eternal existence, torture and torment of hell.
Take the time today to really, seriously consider the importance of this verse. Then consider the following verse where Jesus simply says “’God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.’” (Verse 17)
Out of the depths of a love we cannot truly comprehend, comes our salvation.
Written by Karran Martin – August 17, 2019
Today is Easter Sunday. So we need to take the time to remember that after Jesus was killed He was then buried. But then on that glorious 3rd day, He arose from the dead. He walked among the people, talked to them, ate with them and reassured them that they too could live after their own physical death. The reward would be eternal life in heaven. That promise also belongs to us.
Jesus is risen – He is risen indeed!