Sunday, September 4, 2011

"He Gave"

There is no doubt that it is the most well known, most frequently quoted verse in all the Bible. Little children learn it in Sunday school before they even learn to write their own names. It has been called "The entire Bible summed up in one verse" by those who know the Bible the best. Its words were spoken by the man who knew the Father (and the Father's plans) the best. I'm sure by now you have an idea of which verse I'm referring to..

John 3:16.

Did you immediately quote the verse in your mind after seeing it? I know I do every time I see it. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not parish, but have everlasting life." 

It is a truly beautiful verse, and one that is perhaps taken for granted more than any other. I know I am guilty of taking it for granted, often quoting it as fast as I can, but not really paying attention to what Christ is truly saying in its context. However, that has changed, and with it, my appreciation for what Jesus was saying to Nicodemus that fateful night.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that changed a wretch like me..." We sing the song all the time in church, but its lyrics would be meaningless if not for the message contained in John 3:16. More specifically, if not for two words found within John 3:16;

The words "He gave..".

Two simple words, yet such a powerful thought.

Think about what is being said in those who simple words. Six letters saying so much! God was sinned against by man and was therefore owed justice. Yet, because He loved us so much that 'He gave' in order to bring peace between Him and us. Yes, it was 'Amazing Grace' that changed us from the wretches we once were into His children.

Because of the fact that God is a God of justice (Psalm 89:14), He demanded that a price be paid for man's transgressions, yet because God is also a God of mercy (1 Peter 1:3), He paid the price Himself through His only begotten son, Jesus (John 3:16).

God loves you so much that He gave so that you and I wouldn't have to. The truth is, you and I couldn't pay the price even if we wanted (Rom. 3:23, John 14:6).

What an odd situation by today's standards; The One who was owed was also the One who paid. It is such a foreign concept to us. Yet, despite how foreign it may be, we should always be thankful for those two little words...

"He gave...".

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