Summary: God loves us and gave his son to die for us. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from that love.
John 3:16 “For God So Loved the World”
Easter is a time to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the victory that Jesus achieved over sin, death and the power of the devil.
The writer of the gospel of John writes with the resurrection of Jesus Christ in mind. He writes about God’s love and our salvation through Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ contains an entirely different message than do other religions. Previous to this gospel, people perceived that God was a judgmental God who waited to catch them in sin and to punish them. Other religions teach that God is a distant, holy god who must be impressed by the works of men and women in order to be favorable to them. Jesus comes and proclaims that God is a God of love. Love is the defining characteristic of God.
God was not satisfied in merely speaking words of love to God’s creation. God went farther in communicating God’s love. God decided to demonstrate God’s love for humankind by sending his Son to take on human form and to die for the sins of others.
God has an intense desire for a relationship with God’s creation. God does not wait for us to turn to God, or to become God’s friends. Instead, even when we were enemies, God demonstrated God’s love fore us by sending God’s son, Jesus, to suffer and die for us.
The verse reads, “For God so loved the world that whoever believes in him...” The word, “believe” is a present tense verb. It can also be translated to trust or to have faith.
To believe means more than to hold a specific set of teaching to be true. Certainly, it is important to believe in the truth; God’s love and forgiveness through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is necessary, though, to go farther than that and to begin to act on that knowledge.
God invites us to live in the reality of God’s love. To know that we are forgiven, and that there is nothing that we need to do in order to impress God. God also invites us to live in the new relationship that we have with God because of what Jesus Christ did for us. We are able to live each day in the know of God’s love, and that God is present in our lives and that God’s power is a part of our lives.
In the scripture, life and death are seen from the perspective of relationships. Death is a broken, separated relationship. Life is a living and healthy relationship.
Jesus has been raised from the dead. He has one the victory over death. Because of what he has done, we know that death is no longer the final event of our lives. We know that because Jesus lives we shall live also. There is life after death.
There is more to eternal life, though, than just life after death. Eternal life begins at our baptism, or when God makes himself real to us. Eternal life is walking in a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Eternal life is something that can be a part of our everyday experience, now.
Today we celebrate. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate that God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have eternal life. We celebrate that God has touched our lives with God’s love and we will never be the same.