For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. The one who believes in him is not condemned, but the one who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the love you demonstrated by sending your Son to save us. These words from John must be some of the best-known words recorded in the Bible, and they clearly tell the message of your love. What immense love you have for us that your plan of salvation included Jesus’ suffering and death, that you would allow your Son to bear for us. However, we often lose sight of why Jesus had to endure the cross. Sin and selfish desires separate us from you since you are holy and love perfectly; this is you. In the Garden of Eden, you warned Adam and Eve that if they ate of that tree and sinned, they would be cast away from you with the result of death.
Because you are holy and love perfectly, anything less than perfection cannot be near you, which is why our sin terrifies us. We know what we have done, and we are far from loving you or anyone else with the same perfection to be near you. Therefore, you sent Jesus not to condemn the world but to fix what we broke through our sins. You sent Jesus to live that perfect life we could not, and you accepted his perfection in our place. Then Jesus suffered our punishment when he went to that cursed tree, the cross; he endured the separation from you. Finally, he gave up his life to lift death’s curse from us, that in faith, we will have eternal life. Covered in Jesus’ righteousness, suffering our punishment and death’s defeat are your gifts for every person, which you delivered to us through faith. So that whoever believes in your Son, our Savior, will be saved. Whoever does not look to him is already condemned. So we thank you for your plan of salvation and for carrying it out so we will be saved. Lord, let us point someone to Jesus’ salvational work so they, too, will believe and be saved. Amen.
Written through Pastor Roger Emmons
Considering these words brings to mind the time poisonous snakes bit the Israelites in the desert. Moses made the bronze serpent, and everyone who looked at it would be saved. So we look to Jesus’ forgiveness which he won for us on the cross; there, Jesus saved us.