So Loved

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JesusOnCross“For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

There it is.  The verse nearly every Christian can quote from memory and perhaps the most well-known verse in the Bible.  I probably didn’t even need the reference.  In fact, as you read the first few words of the verse, you may have even glossed over the rest because you already knew what it said.  As for myself, I realized that I had become somewhat immune to the meaning of the verse because of my ability to mindlessly quote it.  Thus, I decided to take another look at John 3:16.  And wow.

I know the words of the verse, but the order of the words is amazing as well.  It just occurred to me that it doesn’t say, “God loved the world so he gave.”  No, rather it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave,” as though this was the very logical conclusion of a love as great as His.  God didn’t give grudgingly, sitting on His throne, heaving a sigh, and saying, “Well, I love these people, so I guess I have to do something for them.”  Neither did He feel beholden to us.  It was very simply this: His love was so great that the natural outpouring of that love was to give us His most precious gift – His only Son.  That alone ought to remind us just how profound the words of this verse truly are.

As I looked again at John 3:16, it gave me a fresh view of the amazing love of God.  More than that, God is love, and if we don’t take the time to understand that, how can we even say we know our God (1 John 4:18)?  What Jesus did on the Cross was the most epic act of all time, and it was the epitome of love.  His was a Love so powerful, so sweeping in its scope, that it overcame death itself.

Princess Bride True Love“Death cannot stop true love.”
The Princess Bride

How can I say no to a love like that?  How can I gloss over a love so great?  This is a Love that cannot be overlooked, because this is True Love. *

* All credit goes to The Princess Bride official website for the movie images used in this post.

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