Monday, July 5, 2010
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
We all know the above verse. Even if you’re not a Christian, you’ve heard it. It is probably the most quoted line from the Bible. The words are the entire basis of Christianity and what makes us different. But how much do we really understand about the sacrifice both God and Jesus made?
As I sit here, holding my new precious bundle of joy in my arms, I cringe to think of ever letting anything bad happen to him. As parents, it is natural for us to want to protect our children from all things big and scary in this world (and there are a lot). We know, ultimately, they’ll have to face the world for themselves and we’ll have to let them go. But can you imagine sending your child off, knowing that when he has accomplished his mission, he will die?
I don’t think our human minds can quite wrap around that concept. We would be fighting our selfish nature to snatch up the child and lock him in a closet until the danger passed. No mother sends her soldier off to war, but fights it every step of the way. No mother of a death row inmate wants to watch their child die, but suffers a complex helplessness at the situation. We all want to save our children. And I imagine, in many ways, so did God. But being God, He knew what the world needed. A Savior.
Even Jesus, the human side of him, struggled with the path set before him. In Luke 22:42, Jesus prays that this cup could be taken from him, but that God will would be done. He knew what was expected of him, yet when faced with it, he still struggled. Just like a soldier on his way to war. Still, he willingly went with the guards, and he did not fight when they nailed his wrists and feet to the cross. He did not call down the angels of heaven when the pain became too much. When he struggled to draw in one haggard breath after another.
And yet, both God and Christ put aside their own wants and desires and made the greatest sacrifice. Because they loved us that much. While we were still sinners. They loved us. Unconditionally.