For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3: 16
Have these last few days not been the most beautiful spring days? What is it about this time of year that can just make us smile and make our hearts feel a little lighter?
We can’t help but notice the transformation that is going on around us as the grass, trees, and flowers spring forth in all their beauty. And it may be transforming our spirits, as well! Doesn’t it make you more aware of His many blessings and His goodness to us? And this verse certainly reminds us even more of the good news we have to be grateful for!
John 3:16 has been referred to as the most beautiful, best known, most recited, and some say, “the greatest verse” in all of Scripture. It speaks to the central theme of God’s Word, the Gospel message in summary: We must know Christ and believe in Him. For nothing is more important than knowing our Savior, and in doing so, we learn about the essence of God, and His immeasurable love for us. He desire was to bring us to Him, to redeem us, and to give us everlasting life. No other verse more fully expresses His unconditional love, grace, and hope He longs to give.
Who is this Jesus, this Son of God, who came to earth to show His Father’s glory, power, and love? As we think about Him, our first thoughts may turn to His persecution, His crucifixion on the cross, His painful death, and His glorious resurrection. Or we may initially think of the Christmas season, when we celebrate the newborn child in a manger who would bring love and peace to the world.
But what about the time in between? Who is this Jesus that we profess is worthy of our worship and adoration? Do we really know Him and believe in Him?
The story of the Son of God coming in human form and living among us seems beyond our understanding. His life was a mystery and His presence on earth seems to have been viewed between 2 extremes – with either absolute wonder and adoration, or with total rejection and ridicule. Isn’t this still so true today? So many don’t know Him and His story. But for those of us who do, we long to know more.
John describes Him this way in John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Old Testament prepares the way for the Son of God to come to earth as our Messiah, and the New Testament reveals who He is, in the person of Jesus Christ. By His coming, He made a way for us to be worthy to come to God. For Scripture tells us that the only way to the Father is through the Son. Through His Son, God not only chose to show His will and His truths, but Christ revealed the heart of God and His love for us.
God sent His Son to live among us so He could understand what it was like to be us – to experience life with all its challenges and emotions – and to be able to take our burdens upon Himself. What comfort to know that our God understands our joys and our sorrows. And in His knowing, He brings us peace, contentment, and joy as we trust in His presence.
As we read Scripture, we are gaining knowledge about the life of Christ, but even more, if we open our hearts, we will begin to know Him for the Savior and Lord He is. As He touches the deepest places in our hearts, He will transform us into new beings, His new creations, filled with assurance, love, and hope.
As we learn more about His life, we will become even more in awe of the Son of God coming to live among us! For the world and life itself has been forever changed. He put aside His deity and became human. He lived a perfect, selfless, obedient life and He died being selfless and obedient to His Father.
May we get to know this Savior more. May we learn about His life, His servant heart, His teachings, His miracles, His humility, His caring and compassionate spirit, and His love for each one of us. For isn’t that what is most important? We must know Christ and believe in Him.
*Reading the Gospels can give us so much insight into the life of Christ. Beth Moore’s Bible study called Jesus, the One and Only and Phillip Yancey’s book, The Jesus I Never Knew are 2 other wonderful resources that can help us see into the heart, mind, and life of this Savior.
Our most gracious God, there are no words to express our gratitude for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. May we come to know Him more, honor Him, become transformed by His love and grace, and praise His most holy name. Thank you for new life in this season of spring and in our hearts as we remember and celebrate His life. Amen