“For God so loved the world…”
We have heard the above mentioned statement so many times – but do we truly realize what it means? After the fall of man, God made a plan to restore mankind to Himself. He valued our relationship with Him so much that He had to do this. He was motivated out of love!
When we think about Jesus, and what He had to endure on the cross, we usually only see an image of suffering. Don’t get me wrong – the punishment He took upon Himself was the greatest sacrifice anyone could ever make – but the mindset from which He did it was joy.
“He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2
The joy of reconciling the world to Himself was what motivated Jesus. He did not do it reluctantly – He was aware of the fact that His sacrifice would completely cleanse and perfect all those who believe in Him, forever. This made the sacrifice worthwhile.
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16