So loved He the world
that He gave us His Son,
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. (Jn. 3:16)
Nicodemus came to Jesus in the cover of night because he was either afraid or ashamed to be seen with Him. Nevertheless, Jesus welcomed him, telling him the words familiar to us, but heard for the first time here: “For God so loved the world . . .” This phrase reveals God’s immeasurable love for mankind, the very nature of God, and the foundation of our love for Him and for others. Because of His great love, “He gave His only begotten Son.” Why did He give Jesus? Because God is just. Because God is love. Because God gives everyone what is due to them. He requires justice for all according to His Law. Justice for sin requires a sacrifice freely given, a perfect sacrifice (Lev. 1:3). Only one person has ever met that requirement: the man Jesus Christ. Because of God’s great love for His creation, He satisfied the requirements of His perfect Law so that all are invited to partake of His inheritance. Remember Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac? He thought it was the will of God (Gen. 22). But love gives and God gave Abraham a ram to sacrifice. God did not want Abraham to give his son. God alone could give His Only Son to satisfy the requirements of His Law.
“Whosoever believes in Him” places their hope and trust in Him, fully assured, fully confident. Like Abraham, when we believe in Him, we can rely on God. To obtain “everlasting life” is to follow the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. “God so loved” and “everlasting life” are connected as it were as a chain with two links—God forges one link and we forge the other. He designed His link by giving His Son. It is now up to us to hammer out our link to Him. Faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is that link. When we link to God’s love through Jesus, we find everlasting life.
Are you having a difficult time forging your link to Jesus? Could it be that, like Nicodemus, you are afraid or ashamed of Him? Is there even one area in your life where you choose a particular sin over Jesus? If so, today is your day. Cleanse yourself from spiritual leprosy, join yourself to Jesus and give that one sin to God. His love for you will carry you through as you walk with Him, linked to Him, choosing His will over your will. God gave the perfect sacrifice. “So loved He the world that He gave us His Son.”