A new appreciation for John 3:16

A new appreciation for John 3:16

John 3:16 (New International Version)

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a]that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I remember being very thankful that God would do that for us, I felt very comforted in the knowledge that God Love us so much.

Recently, in the past week a close friend of mind lost his 25-year-old son in a traffic accident. As I was trying to figure out what I could say or do to help them I realized that, other than saying I am sorry for this tragedy, there was absolutely nothing I could do to minimize their pain.

As I began to witness the extraordinary pain they were experiencing I realized that I had no comprehension of what they were going through. The unimaginable suffering they are living through is beyond anything I could ever imagine. To lose a child is the most painful experience a person can have. Everyone in their family has experience different depths of pain and suffering. I realized that the parents and immediate family were experiencing pain and suffering I could not imagine or understand. I did not posses a reference point that would allow me to even begin to understand what it would be like to lose a child.

The more I thought about it the more amazed I was by the whole experience. It is a truly life altering event.

As I was praying for the family and asking God to give me a way of comforting or helping them, the thought that came to my mind was the death of Jesus.

There are a couple of similarities that exist between the death of Jesus and the death of Josue they were both male and both died at a young age, Jesus was 33 and Josue was 25.

But, beyond that were there any other similarities?

God gave his only son.

Then I began to wonder does God know pain?

In Genesis 1:26 it says

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

“Let us make man in our image”

“God” singular

“Let us” plural

So from this scripture we can deduce that God is a multiple person not a single entity. We as Christians believe in the trinity, the concept that God is three distinct persons that operate as one, God the father the Holy Spirit and Jesus the son. If you follow the logic then when God said let us make man “in our image” we need to posses attributes of the trinity in order for the creation to be “in our image”. This then means that God has attributes which exits within us. For instance God had wisdom, Jesus had physical form, and we have a spirit. The three basic attributes of basic life we all have a body we all have wisdom, and we all have a spirit. Beyond that what makes us human are our emotions. After the days of creation God says,

Genesis 1:31

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

God says “it was very good” an emotional statement. Good can refer to a well manufacture piece of furniture or a well design and executed plan. It can also refer to and emotional state such as a good game, a good sermon ect. My point is that God had an emotional moment at the end of creation.

Exodus 20:5

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

God speaking through Moses says “ I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” again an emotional statement

And again

John 3:16 (New International Version)

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a]that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So after remembering these verses I deduce that God does indeed feel.

It only makes sense that God possesses complete emotions love, joy, and happiness, anger everything that we feel, as we were created in his image.

The scene,

Christ- Gods only son is hanging on he cross in excruciating pain he has been beaten, whip, torture, humiliated, jeered, deserted, abandoned and finally murdered.

Now I ask you if God feels perfect emotion can you begin to feel the pain of God? Here is God the creator of the universe, the creator of everything that exists or will exist or ever has existed is watching insignificant humanity murder his child.

As I watch the waves of pain that coursed through the family it was amazing to see how the recurrence of pain seemed endless. Every other minute someone else was sobbing uncontrollably. God feels pain, he felt the anguish of this family he understood their pain he felt there lost. He new from intimate experience how it felt to lose a child but magnified to and extent we cannot understand. God in the mist of the pain of lost still had to maintain his position as God he could not break down and extract vengeance on the world that murder his son. His restraint is not understandable, having had the opportunity to change the circumstances of there child’s death the family would have done anything to bring Josue back. God having the ability and power to do just that showed his love for humanity by allowing his child to die. The thing is God did not have to go through the pain of losing a child he could have stopped it at any time. What must it have been like to be in the presents of God during this event the anger he must have felt, the rage that surly ran through his veins, the righteous indignation that coursed through his being. The cries for justice that screamed from his soul. The tears that must have been shed. The frustration at not allowing himself to act. The humiliation that was forced upon him by his creation. The ultimate rejection by his people humanity. I cannot understand how God kept himself from destroying humanity in its entirety and starting over again. There is no way I would have allowed my child to die for humanity having the ability to keep that from happening to my child. Yet God loved me so much that he allowed his son to die for me.

Unlike us humans, with a very limited capacity to prevent death God the creator of the universe has unlimited resources and at any time could have said no more, humanity is not worth the pain that I am going through or the pain my son is going through. He could have at anytime stop this injustice, destroyed humanity and started over again. He not only has the sovereignty to do this but he possesses the unlimited resources to accomplish it. But yet he determines that humanity is worth the sacrifice of his son on the cross, why because he loves us.

I always conceived of the death of Christ as something though horrifying, necessary for the salvation of humanity. But after the death of Josue and the resulting pain and suffering the family experienced I had a new realization. Could I sacrifice my child for someone else? That question changed my view of the crucifixion radically. I might be willing to give my life for a few select people. But there is no one I would sacrifice my kids for; there is no one I would sacrifice my kids for. There is no situation that I can imagine that would justify the sacrifice of my child. I cannot conceive of a situation that having the ability to prevent I would allow my child to die. That thought for me changes my view of the crucifixion dramatically. God love us so much that he allowed his child to die for us. God did something that I would not be willing to do for anyone. Knowing the pain and suffering he would experience as a father he still loved us so much that he allowed his child to die for us. Try being in Gods shoes for a while he had the fore knowledge and the ability to prevent his child from being abused and murder and still he was willing to allow this. He was willing to suffer excruciating pain in order to provide a way for humanity to spend eternity with him. Here is the thing Christ did not die for us collectively he die for us individually. Though he died for the whole world we are saved individually not collectively or corporately. We will stand before God as individuals not as a collective body of any type.

As I watch the inconsolable pain this family suffered I saw weeping unlike anything I could have imagined. I saw them age as the life lost seemed to drained years off of there faces. I saw children hurt without consolation.

The greatest lost for this family is their inability to forget the lost of son and brother. Forever they will remember their son and sibling. With that memory they will also have the mixed emotion of joy and sorrow because of the memory.

God has a memory and more than a vague remembrance of an occurrence. God is known to be omnipresent.

Definition: om⋅ni⋅pres⋅ent

[om-nuhprezuh nt] Show IPA

–adjective

present everywhere at the same time: the omnipresent God. If God is everywhere at the same time he is at this moment at the cross. Living the pain of the assassination of his son. He is there experiencing the massive injustice being perpetrated on his son. He is also at this moment sitting on his throne looking at the abused body of his son for eternity.

As the bible gives us just a small description of heaven and the life that will occur there we cannot conclude that our sin here on this planet will determine our final destination.

We need to conclude that everything that the bible admonishes us about has to do with today and not with what will happen in heaven.

Ephesians 2

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Salvation is a free gift of God.

A free gift.

We need to accept this gift.

On judgment day who will be judge? Everyone will be judge some will be accepted in to the kingdom base on there acceptance of Gods free gift.

How about all the others who have not accepted Christ payment for there sins?

Remember the pain God endure when his son was murder on the cross, remember that God exists everywhere at once and if that is not enough remember the scares that now exist on his son that sits on his right side now.

Remember the wrath of God. Here we are on judgment day God is about to pass judgment on all who have reject his son. The bible says Christ die for you. Singular. You rejected him. Singular. If you rejected him you now stand on your own before God justifying yourself on your works. What you are effectively saying is that what God the father, Christ the son and the Holy Spirit paid was not enough for you. All that God can see is the pain and anguish his son felt being hung on the cross. All that God can hear are the sobs of and inconsolable father at the lost of his son. All he can understand are the cries for justice his soul screams for. The depth of Gods love is truly unfathomable how could he give up so much for us?

Now the time is past God will now unleash his wrath on you unrestrained. If he loved us so deeply how will his wrath be? If we have a God that is capable of deep and enduring love, can you expect his judgment to be any less complete? He will bring down on you the pain and anguish he has experience for thousand of years, because of you. God’s pain will be passed on to you for an eternity for rejecting his son for making his death pointless for making him die for nothing.

His wrath will be pronounced on you individually forever it will last as long as his memory of the horrific crime that was committed on his son lasts. His wrath will be the product of perfect justice the punishment will be equal to the crime. It will not be about your sin, it will be about his son. The crime you committed will be the rejection of his son it won’t be about your sin.

The last similarity of Josue and Jesus’s death is the promise of Christ which is as it was the resurrection. The only comfort that this family truly has is the hope of seeing there son again in heaven. As Christ was raised from the dead so we also have the promise of resurrection in Christ.

John 3:16 (New International Version)

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a]that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Ephesians 2

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

You see it always has been about God. It has never been about you.

God gave His Son.

God gave us the gift of salvation.

You will accept the gift or you will accept the wrath.

Written Ruben Figueroa

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