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4 huge surprises

4 huge surprises

4 huge surprises

world21For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16)

It’s one of the most famous verses in the Bible. Many Christians can recite it by heart. It’s even been described as ‘the heart of the Bible – the gospel in miniature’1. It’s one of the most important an fundamental truths that the Bible has to offer. And yet, if you know anything about the Bible or the world around us, it contains four of the biggest surprises you could imagine.

God so loved the world…

Amongst a culture that requires an acceptance of all, the idea that one might be loved is a given – everyone is lovable, and to fail to love someone is simply not permissible. Yet the Bible chronicles the impossible relationship between an utterly holy God and a abhorrently rebellious humanity. God is so ‘other’ that He rightly can’t stand to be in the presence of a humanity that has so consistently abused and rejected His grace. Yet His extraordinary response to this depraved child is love.

that He gave His only Son…

The second surprise is the lengths God has gone to in order to express that love. It’s expression is undeniably great and inconceivably extravagant. Anyone who has had children will know what one will go through to keep them safe. I haven’t had children, and yet it is still evident to me how close this relationship is! The Father has shown us how much He loves Jesus by describing their relationship in the terms of a father-son relationship – and yet, so great is His love for us, that He has chosen to give His only Son up for our sakes – and not only to give Him up to the world, but to punish Him for the sin which we have committed, so that the punishment would no longer be on us. It is an incomprehensible love for us that leads to such overwhelming generosity.

whoever believes in Him…

Belief in Jesus is the only thing which is required! After such an indescribable gift, it would be expected that we should endure great hardship and huge demands in order to merit such favour. But God has determined that there be only the one requirement for someone to enter into heaven: belief in His Son. Indeed, the offer is available to anyone who would do this one thing – anybody who would put their trust in Jesus.

should have eternal life…

The fourth surprise is the extent of the gift. We’ve seen how surprising is the source of God’s love, the extent of His love and the availability of His love. Yet the result of His love is also unfathomable – eternal life! Life that goes on forever. And, as the rest of John’s biography of Jesus describes, that life is life in all its fullness. Want to know more? Why not have a read of it yourself?