Summary: Look with us at three reasons behind Jesus death.

This is the second sermon in a series on John 3:16. The first sermon examined the question “What Is God Like?” Today we examine the question “What Is The Meaning of Jesus Death?” In John 3:16 we read that God “gave His only begotten son.” What is the meaning behind that gift? Jesus death had a significant meaning. Notice three statements that were made by Jesus death.

I. The first statement: Jesus was the ultimate expression of God’s love.

There are many ways of expressing love. You can say it. You can give jewelry. You can give flowers or candy. You can do thoughtful deeds. Even so, God could have used many means to express His love. He expressed His love in the pages of the Bible. He expressed His love through His blessings. However, the ultimate expression of God’s love was displayed in sending His son Jesus.

Illustration: The words of a child indicate ways of expressing love. Love is…

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love."

"Love is when someone hurts you, and you get so mad, but you don’t yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings."

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay."

"Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

([Love from a Kid’s Point of View, Citation: "What Is Love—From a Kid’s Point of View," LightSinger, (accessed 3-14-02)] (Contributed to Sermon Central by A. Todd Coget) This is how a child sees love expressed.

God expressed His love when he sent Jesus to die for our sins. God’s love was expressed with a sacrificial spirit. In John 3:16 there is great emphasis placed on the fact that Jesus is God’s “only begotten son.” God gave the most precious thing He had as a sacrifice for mankind’s sin. Those who are parents know the agony of seeing your children hurt. Not long after we moved here David had to have surgery. He was a sick young man. He was nauseated. He was passing blood. It hurt me to see my son going through that ordeal. As a parent you would rather take the pain than see your child suffer. To think that God would express His love by sending His only son is incomprehensible. You might say, “God did not hurt like us because he knew what the outcome would be.” The point is, God allowed himself to feel mankind’s pain by allowing Jesus to suffer and die for us.

Illustration: Bryan Chapell tells a story that happened in his hometown. Two brothers were playing on the sandbanks by a river. One ran after another up a large mound of sand. Unfortunately, the mound was not solid, and their weight caused them to sink in quickly.

When the boys did not return home for dinner, the family and neighbors organized a search. They found the younger brother unconscious, with his head and shoulders sticking out above the sand. When they cleared the sand to his waist, he awakened. The searchers asked, "Where is your brother?"

The child replied, "I’m standing on his shoulders"

With the sacrifice of his own life, the older brother lifted the younger to safety. The tangible and sacrificial love of the older brother literally served as a foundation for the younger brother’s life.

The Bible says “0And it was only right that God—who made everything and for whom everything was made—should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation.”Hebrews 2:10 (Contributed to Sermon Central by Dana Chau)

II. The second statement: Jesus was the extension of God’s hand. God created us. He knew we would stumble and fall. He knew we would make bad decisions. He knew we would need help along the way. He extended His hand to aid us in our journey.

Illustration: A boy and his father were out walking on a cold day, and the way was slippery. The little fellow’s hands were deep down in the pockets of a brand new coat. His father said to him: “You had better let me take your hand," but he could not persuade the boy to take his hands from the pockets of his new coat. They reached a slippery place and the boy had a hard fall. His pride began to slip. Not long after that they hit a second slippery place and the boy fell again. By this time the boys pride was gone. He raised his little hand and said: "You may take it now"; and his father grabbed his hand tightly and they continued their walk. When they reached a slippery place the little feet would start to go, but his father held him up. (J. Wilbur Chapman. Contributed to Sermon Central by Stephen Wright )

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