The Greatness of God's Love
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. John 3:17 (NABRE)
What an amazing verse to meditate on, right?
Indeed it is, but was it just for the believers? And the answer is definitely no. Jesus did not die just for a few select people “The Jews” and the Christians. Jesus died for all of us, believers and unbelievers alike.
So here is my story.
It was one of those nights, around 3 AM in the morning that I just could not sleep anymore. It was not the first time that things like this had happened to me, though. I am usually up around that time and because there is nothing interesting to do at that hour of the night, I find it useful to read the Bible and meditate on God’s word.
So that day, which happened to be a Tuesday, I decided to go through Scripture for some insight, and while flipping through the pages of the Bible, I came across the above verse.
I then decided to meditate on it for a while. Just thinking of how He (Jesus) chose to come into the world as an ordinary person, knowing that He would be rejected and killed by His own people. Thinking about how He allowed himself to suffer and be brutally killed, knowing beforehand that there would be some who would not believe in Him.
Full of emotion, I felt the need to pray the rosary.
For those of you who are not Catholics, The Rosary is divided into five decades.
Each decade represents a mystery or event in the life of Jesus, and the details can be found by clicking: How To Pray The Rosary.
The strange thing about all this is that it was on a Tuesday that I happened to meditate on Jesus’ life and how He suffered. It was at that same moment that I felt the need to pray the rosary, which happened to be the exact day when the Sorrowful Mysteries are prayed, according to Catholic custom. Isn’t that interesting? I believe so.
And here is how The Sorrowful Mysteries are divided:
- The First Sorrowful Mystery is called:
The Agony in the Garden "Matthew 26:36 & Luke 22:39-46”
Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he dies.
The Scripture tells us that His agony was so much that, He prayed fervently. It says that His anguish and distress was so much that His sweat became like drops of blood.
- The Second Sorrowful Mystery:
The Scourging at the Pillar "Matthew 27:26"
Jesus is lashed with whips, just like a criminal.
- The Third Sorrowful Mystery:
The Crowning with Thorns "Matthew 27:27"
Jesus is mocked and crowned with thorns.
- The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery:
The Carrying of the Cross "Matthew 27:32"
Jesus, an innocent man, already beaten up and tired, carries the cross that will be used to crucify him.
What a humble heart he had.
I say that because Jesus had the power to fight back.
He had the authority to call His heavenly army to eliminate all His enemies in a single blow, but no, He chose to die.
- Can you imagine and place yourself in His position?
- Did you ever imagine going through what Jesus went through and still remain faithful to His plan?
Only someone with dear love can do such thing, willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice.
- The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery:
The Crucifixion and death of Jesus on the Cross "Matthew 27:33"
Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies.
So finally, because of His obedience to the Father, because of His love for His creation, and because of the joy that was set before Him, He endured all suffering on the cross.
But you see, when you go through tough times in this world either due to persecution, sickness or lack of the basics, many may ask, what kind of salvation is God talking about?
How can God affirm that He sent His only Son into the world to save mankind when what we live is pure misery, many may ask…
Well people, God never promised a world free from trouble. Jesus Himself tells us in John 16:33 that “…In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world”
And if you are wondering what kind of salvation God is talking about? The answer to that can be found in the book of Matthew 1:21 “…and she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Yes, we all know that when believers in Christ go through suffering, the unbelievers on the other hand, are the first ones to always have something negative to say, and that is okay. We must remain faithful to God and believe in Christ, because whatever situation you may be going through right now, it is just temporary.
They may even accuse you of worshiping a wrong god due to their lack of faith, or even affirm that there is no God at all to them – and that’s okay as well – if they did that to Jesus who was holy, they can also do that to you and to me, but remain faithful.
It was through faith that Abraham was credited as righteous before God. It is through faith in Jesus that we are all saved.
So if they were to come with questions like:
What can you expect from a God who allowed His son to be brutally killed?
What make you think that He “God” will care about you or us when He allowed His Son to be tortured and killed without Him moving a finger?
Please know that it is the power of the devil controlling their minds due to their unbelief.
What they don’t understand is that Jesus’ death on the cross was the only way to our salvation. It was the only way that could eliminate that barrier that Adam and Eve, tricked by the devil himself, caused mankind to be separated from God.
But wait a moment!
Does this mean that God did not care about His Son? On the contrary, He loves His Son as much as He loves us, and that love was made apparent to us when He sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we may live through Him. 1 John 4:9
Yes, that is right; “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. John 3:16
And guess what?
“God raised Him up, releasing Him from the throes of death because it was impossible for Him to be held by it”. Acts 2: 24
As you can see, our Lord Jesus Christ defeated both death and the devil’s plan forever.
So, people, it is never too late to repent and choose to do right.
It was because of His love for His creation that He died for us. It was God’s love for mankind that He sent His only begotten Son into the world, to redeem us from sin and misery, and to obtain for us everlasting life.
So don’t delay any longer, for the time is now to make up your mind and come to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for a great honor.
And now, you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 1 Peter 2:4-5 (NLT)
Heavenly Father – All loving God – with all my heart I thank you for loving the world so much that you sent your only begotten Son to die for me.
I also thank you that you have given me a discerning heart - a heart full of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding which allows me to realize that, if the best of your people you ever created failed you because of the devil’s trick, I too run the risk of doing the same if I chose to rely on myself.
So now, I choose to tune in to you dear Lord.
Please help me to hear your voice, to know you and follow you all the days of my life, In Jesus Name, Amen.