One of the most beloved verses in the Bible is John 3:16. They are waters that the youngest child can paddle in, and yet the most mature Christian never reach the bottom. And they are words in which the unbeliever could find life, if only we shared it with them.
‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’
God loved the world. Incredible! This is the world that had rejected him and hadn’t recognised him when he came in the flesh. This world was dark, with no knowledge of God, and no desire to know him either. Yet, God loved the world. He loved us.
Why did he love us? Not because we were lovable! Our hearts, our inner being, was totally corrupted by sin. Sin oozed out of every thought, word and action. We worshipped and served created things, living for them even when outwardly it seemed we were doing the right thing.
Yet he loved us, and his love led to him giving his Son. The Son who had been with the Father for all eternity, who had never rebelled but had only honoured and adored his Father, was given up for the rebellious and rotten world. This love is beyond comprehension.
This Son was given over to die, so that those who believe in him wouldn’t perish themselves, but instead would find eternal life. In Jesus’ death he takes the punishment, shame, guilt, anger of God which our sin brought on ourselves. In him we have the offer of eternal joy and peace, eternal life with God.
God loved the world, gave his Son, and offers eternal life. This is our message. Who can you share that with this week?