1 John 4:9
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
I know we have covered this specific verse in the commentaries … probably numerous times. I want to think that since it has been sent out today, there is an anointing on this Scripture that we need to grasp and embrace. We read this verse. We quote this verse. But do we really KNOW this verse? Do we really receive this love that surpasses all human understanding? Can we? God showed His love. God demonstrated His love. It is revealed and found in His Son, Christ Jesus! But do we truly understand this?
Last night, during my prayer time, I became overwhelmed with the thoughts … the mental images … of His crucifixion. A visage of blood trailing down sunken cheeks … a piercing crown of thorns penetrating His brow … jagged tears of flesh … whip-inflicted wounds … covered every inch of His back. The magnitude of unconscionable, demonic-filled physical torture that Jesus endured was beyond my imagination. I was overcome. I began to weep in my spirit….
And then He spoke to me, “I endured this for you!” I was speechless. I trembled. In that moment, Jesus reminded me … that He knowingly and willingly went to this Roman cross of death. (Cf. John 10:11-18) God sacrificed His own life … His own blood … according to His own plan and purpose. Jesus died to reconcile me to God the Father. He paid the debt of sin for me. I am redeemed. I am purchased by His blood. Not because I was good or worthy or merited His favor. No, He died for me to show me the greatness of His love … to set me free from the ultimate cost of sin within the human heart. He did that for me! He did that for you! Why? So that we might truly live through Him! I am convinced there is no true life outside of life within Christ Jesus. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) We either believe Him at His word … or we arrogantly reject the sacrificial death He suffered to bring us eternal life. “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day.” ~ Jesus (John 6:40) “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” ~ John (1 John 5:11)
This is a hard message. This is hard to understand because it is not rational to the human mind. I feel like Paul … when he expressed this message to the Corinthian Church:
1 Corinthians 2:1-3
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony (mystery) about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
But this IS the message of this verse, and for that matter, all of the Holy Scriptures. The Son had to do this for us! It was required by God, and He sent Jesus into the world for this purpose. At the appointed time in history … at the appointed place of birth … in the chosen nation of inheritance … for the appointed children of God. Our Savior Jesus was slain for us … for the forgiveness of our sins … ordained by God the Father before the foundation of the world.
Can I leave you with a passage of Scripture from the Prophet Isaiah? I believe he can best orate what I am trying to share here and he foretold the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Messiah 700 years in advance! I just think God wants us to focus on this message – maybe as we prepare ourselves and our hearts for the season of Easter:
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. 4 Surely, He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression (From arrest) and judgment He was taken away. Yet who of His generation considered that He was cut off from the land of the living; that He was punished for the transgression of my people? 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 After He has suffered, He will see the light of life (see the fruit of His suffering) and will be satisfied; by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give Him a portion among the many, and He will divide the spoils with the numerous because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.