John 3:16 is one of the most memorized scripture passages of all times. It is taught to children in churches all over the world. It is seen on billboards, posters, pamphlets, and is the most widely used scripture verse in evangelistic history. The minute we hear someone say, “John 3:16” our mind repeat it and we think of Jesus Christ. But have we forgotten the power behind these words spoken by Jesus Christ Himself?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
God, the Father, the Creator, the Almighty who created the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and the human race gave to the world His Son. He did it so that we could have a life with Him for all eternity. God gave us a gift, a free gift born from His very existence; He gave us His Son so that we could have hope and life with Him now and forever.
Do we realize the sacrifice that was given for us? Do we understand the love that was poured out upon that cross for us? True love requires sacrifice, and God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ showed us what true love looks like when He chose to be born of a virgin, born into sinful flesh and to walk with purpose and determination to the cruelest form of death ever known to mankind. There has never been a punishment for death upon this earth like the one Christ suffered. But He did it; He did it willingly and with joy in His heart.
Philippians 2:5-8 says that we are to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation; taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus gave up His eternal life for ours.
Think about that statement for just a minute. He gave up His eternal life, a life that had no beginning and no end, a life that had always been and always would be- for you. He could have stayed in heaven in eternity, yet He chose to come to earth and take upon Himself sin and death. He could have wiped out the entire world and started fresh, but instead, because of His great love for you He took off His eternal life and put on your doomed flesh. He chose to become a human, a man who would be born into sin, a man’s body, soul and spirit that was corrupted with the very thing that He cannot dwell with, a body and a life that was corrupted with sin. He chose to sacrifice His own eternity for the sake of yours.
He did it because He loves you. God loves the world, His creation, the work of His hands so much that He was willing to give up all of Himself just so that He could be a part of your life. There was nothing so precious to Him that He was not willing to sacrifice, there was nothing more treasured to Him than you. Even His eternal life, even His heavenly throne was not enough to keep Him from coming to this earth so that you could experience the love that He has to offer. There was nothing and no one more valuable to Him than you.
Titus 2:14 tells us that He “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people…” He gave Himself. What He gave to us hurt, it was painful, and it was full of sacrifice and death. But it was worth it to Him, to go through so much suffering, so much pain just so that you would have a chance to believe in Him and have eternal life. He never desired for any of us to suffer, He has never desired for any of us to feel pain, but because of sin we have become separated, we have become apart from God. But He was not going to let anything stand in His way, because He desired you above all else.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us that “for the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame…” He is the God of eternity, He knows the end from the beginning; He created time and everything in it. He knew as He was creating this earth that Adam and Eve were going to sin, that they were going to deny Him and rebel against Him. He could have stopped creating and started all over, but He chose not to. Why? Because the joy of seeing you turn to Him and confess Him as your Lord and Savior was more precious to Him than the entire created world itself. The joy of knowing that someday you would see His sacrifice of love for you and be His forever was too much to stop Him. He desires you above all others.
He could have chosen to be born during a time where they just chopped off your head, or been chosen at a time when they burned you at the stake. But He wanted to demonstrate His love for you; He wanted to show you the magnitude of His heart toward you so He chose the cross. He chose the nails, He chose the crown of thorns, and He chose the cat of nine tails to rip into His flesh. He chose it because He knew the joy that was awaiting Him at the other side of the suffering was worth it, because He saw you standing at His feet, and lifting up your hands and saying, “Yes Lord, I believe.” Your eternal life was more valuable to Him than His own.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish by have everlasting life.” Let us not forget the price that was paid for our sins. Let us not forget that Jesus Christ gave up His eternity for the joy of giving us eternity. Let us not forget the sacrifice that He freely gave, that He willingly chose. Let us from this day forward look upon the cross of Jesus Christ and see love, the love of our God, our Creator, pouring out His blood and His eternity for the sake of ours. “Greater love has not one than this, than to lay down one’s life for His friends.” (John 15:13)
No greater love will you find than the cross of Jesus Christ. He is and always will be the One True God who shed His eternity so that you could have eternal life with Him. Eternity has no beginning and it has no end, He could not and would not dwell in eternity without you. So He gave Himself for you, for you were of more value than even His own existence. Look to Jesus and be saved all the ends of the earth! Amen and Amen.
“if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9. Confess and believe and be saved. May the Lord God draw all men unto Himself and may all see the beauty of Your love for all mankind on the Cross of Jesus Christ. To you be the glory forever and ever, Amen.