One of the most quoted and well-known verses from the Bible is John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. (NIV) I am certain that this verse was quoted, written, and spoken about last Easter weekend.
In my reflection upon Easter, I have been reading a devotion plan called ‘The Reason for My Hope’, a devotion based on excerpts from Dr Billy Graham’s book ‘The Reason For My Hope: Salvation’. Dr Graham writes about a time in 1934, which was when he gave his life to Jesus at the age of 16. As I read what he wrote, about being loved by God and that, truly, all we need is in Christ, I was reminded again that God so loved the world he gave his only Son. God so loved the world, that includes me—and it includes you. I hope that as you read this you too will know that God so loves you, that in Christ we find hope, joy, peace, happiness, and all that we could ever want or need.
From the heart of God to the cross of Christ, redemption came into view. God was not willing to turn His back on the human race. His love was too deep, His mercy too wide. He longed to recover, redeem, and bring us back to Himself. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
This is what God did for us. God took Heaven’s best—the Lord Jesus Christ—to redeem earth’s worst. The Son of God died on a cross, an instrument of Roman torture made for the vilest offenders.
We, as a race, have been enticed into the service of Satan, but our unfaithfulness and waywardness have not cancelled out God’s love for us. Instead, He has made the way for our rescue through His Son, Jesus Christ. He made the sacrifice and paid a price unthinkably greater than our true value. We are redeemed, recovered, and restored, not with money—silver and gold—but with the precious blood of Christ. . . .
On the night of November 1, 1934, my hardened soul was redeemed. I exchanged my will for God’s way. I traded my calloused heart for a cleansed soul.
I had sought thrills. I found them in Christ.
I had looked for something that would bring perfect joy and happiness. I found it in Christ.
I had looked for something that would bring pleasure and would satisfy the deepest longing of my heart. I found it in Christ.