“For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
This is probably the most famous verse from the Bible, and rightfully so, it is known by both believers and non-believers alike. In this one verse we see what could be called the sum total of the Gospel; that God loves us enough to die for us.
But just as important is the verse immediately following this one,
God, the all powerful and eternal Creator of the universe, would’ve been well within His rights to send His Son to earth as a condemning judge. Jesus could’ve destroyed the world in an act of justified rage at the disobedience of mankind, but that wasn’t why He came. We all have sinned, both personally and through the original sin of Adam, we deserve nothing but death and judgment from, but instead we receive mercy.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Just think about that for a moment… Jesus, who is God, came down from His home in Heaven to save us. And in doing so He became one of us, He was both fully human and fully divine, He felt all the emotions and pain that being Human includes. That last part of that verse is the key, he “became obedient unto death, even death on a cross,” crucifixion was a disgraceful way to die, hanging naked on a cross with common criminals, but He allowed it to happen for you and me. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
And the best part is this; He didn’t do all this for the world collectively, He did it for you. John 3:16 could be read, “for God so loved YOU…”, that is the Gospel message in a nutshell.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Us, that’s you and that’s me. God loves you, He knows you, and He wants you to know Him.