The phrase God “gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16) simply means God offered His Son to be the actual ransom for man’s sin (1 Timothy 2:6). The whole purpose of the plan of salvation was to re-unite the human family with God. Humans were to be restored to God’s original state of perfection that they may live in His presence, enjoy His fellowship and the fellowship of the heavenly beings (Jeremiah 30:17). The plan of salvation was a temporary plan to redeem back that which was stolen by Satan (Colossians 1:13,14).
Christ’s success in His saving mission was not guaranteed. For in order for Christ to succeed in His mission, He had to suffer untold physical and emotional pain that He may have victory over all the powers of darkness (Hebrews 2:10). At any point He could have been overcome by Satan if He failed (Luke 22:42). Christ took that risk and the Father permitted it.
In His mission, Christ had to fast 40 days (Matthew 4:2), pray entire nights (Luke 6:12), resist every temptation and overcome it (Hebrews 4:15). And finally, He had to endure the physical and mental torture of the crucifixion. Christ tasted death for every human being – that is the separation from God which sin causes (Romans 4:25).
And the Father suffered with His Son in every step. Love is genuine only when it is in action. God’s love for sinners led Him to give all that He had for their salvation (Romans 5:8). It is the essence of love to sacrifice for others; selfishness is the antithesis of love.
In 1 John 3:1 the apostle exclaims, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” The ultimate expression of divine love is the Father’s gift of His own Son (John 3:16), through whom it becomes possible for us to be “called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
In His service,
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