Summary: Showing the Attribute of God’s Love.
The LOVE of GOD Shown to Us
Texts: John 3:16
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
One of the most touching stories concerning Pope John XXIII is about the day after Christmas several years ago when he visited one of the worst prisons in Rome. It was the first time in ninety years that a pope had gone to a prison, and in greeting the prisoners, the Pope said, “You could not come to me, so I have come to you.” And that, I command to you, is the spirit of Christ’s love. He came to rescue us because he loved us, and his love never ends.
W. Frank Harrington, “The Love That Brought Him,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 51.
I.He showed His LOVE to us through a Cradle.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
II.He showed His LOVE to us through the Cross.
There was a time during the most horrible persecutions of the Jews by the Nazis in Poland that an old Jewish cemetery keeper came into the cemetery one morning and found that during the night a woman had crept into an open grave and there given birth to a son. And she had died. He found this child, and he said to himself and to other about, “This must be the Messiah, for only the Messiah could choose to be born in a grave.”
Well, it wasn’t the Messiah; the child died before noon of that day. But the truth of which that cemetery keeper spoke is absolutely accurate. Only the Messiah of God could choose to be born in a grave. Only a God who loves as our God loves could come into the midst of all the pain of life and death and here bring his grace.
Bruce W. Thielemann, “Hark The Herald Angels,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 63.
“The Love of Christ”
Near Mobile, Alabama there was a railroad bridge that spanned a big bayou. The date was September 22, 1993. It was a foggy morning just before 3:00 a.m. when a tugboat accidentally pushed a barge into the bayou. The drifting barge slammed into the bridge.
In the darkness no one could see the extent of the damage, but someone on the tugboat radioed the Coast Guard to inform them. Moments later an Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited, reached the bridge. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Miami.
Unaware of the damage, the train crossed the bridge at 70 mph. There were 210 passengers on board. As the weight of the train crossed the damaged support, the bridge gave away. Three locomotive units and the first four of the train’s 8 passenger cars fell into the alligator infested bayou. The darkness and fog was thicken by fire and smoke.
The tugboat operator immediately called in a frantic message to the Coast Guard. It was so far back in swamp, emergency vehicles were only able to get within 6 miles of the site on land. Helicopters were called in to help rescue the survivors. Many people made it but 47 people drowned or died in the flames and went out into eternity.
There were many heroes that morning. One was Michael Dopheide. He was a young man who had just finished college, and was heading to Florida after a visit with his sister in California. Jolted awake, he heard the screaming and cries all around him. He ran down the aisle to an emergency exit, and as the water was rising he removed the glass, and jumped into the swampy waters that were 25 feet deep. Treading water, he coaxed people to jump the six feet down into the bayou. Those who couldn’t swim he helped to a metal girded ten feet away. The thirty people he helped save included one two year old, an elderly lady, and a 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy named Andrea. Her parents, Geray and Mary Jane Chancey, were traveling home with their little girl. As they were waiting to get out, the car shifted and filled with water. They desperately pushed little Andrea out through the window to the hands of waiting rescuers.
This was their last act of love for their daughter. Instead of getting out themselves, they chose to give their lives to save their child. This is the same kind of love Jesus had when He chose to die on the cross for You!