John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
If you asked anyone if they knew any Bible verse, if they could quote one, it would most likely be John 3:16. You see it plastered on banners at baseball games, written on billboard, and screened on tee-shirts. I often wonder though how many people take time to actually meditate on how profound this verse actually is.
On one hand was a disobedient world; a creation that had rioted against God for generations and generations. On the other, was the Second Person if the Trinity, the Son, perfect in obedience and fellowship with the Father. Yet, because of love, the Father actively gives the Son as a sacrifice. He does this so that whoever simply believes in the Son will not perish, which is what everyone deserves, but would rather have eternal life.
My two children were sick this past weekend. On Saturday, I watched as my daughter tried to crawl, only to collapse on the floor in exhaustion. I thought to myself that I would do anything to trade places with her. I would gladly endure the pain to take hers away. I then immediately thought about what God the Father had to endure in watching Christ on the cross. I thought about the love that had to compel Him to make such a sacrifice. I then thought about my own selfishness. I certainly would not give either of my children for anyone. I simply do not have enough love in me. Yet, God not only endured temporary separation of fellowship with the Son, but He also had to see Him mocked, scorned, beaten, broken, and crucified. As a parent, I am too selfish in my love. However, it makes me love and revere God all the more. He would love me so much that He would be willing to endure that kind of heartbreak, willingly, so that I might have the opportunity to have a relationship with Him. If I do not believe and take advantage of that relationship and embrace that love, then, shame on me. I deserved none of it, but the Father was gracious enough to see that I should gain access to Him. The Son loved the Father and loved those whom the Father gave Him to be obedient to the cross. If I cannot live my life out of gratefulness, then shame on me.
It is such a simple message, but it cost so much. Please let it not just be something that you place on a poster or a shirt, but let it be a message you embrace with your whole heart.