For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
A most amazing thing about this verse is that these are Jesus’ words. He Himself speaks this great truth as the one spoken of, and at the moment He speaks it, He has yet to give His life. But that doesn’t change anything, because belief in Jesus is the way of salvation for all time, no matter what stage of history. As He ministered for those three years, it was as if He’d already given His life. Jesus being on Earth at that moment was proof that God’s plan was going forward and all that was foretold would come to pass.
God gave so much so that we might gain. He gave a one-of-a-kind, something that could never be duplicated—His only begotten, the only true Son to come directly from the Father. He gave part of Himself. He gave something of immeasurable value. And so what we have because of that, what we gained, is also immeasurably valuable, and we cannot get it any other way. That gift of everlasting life comes only because of Jesus, only because God gave Him to be our substitute, to die in our place, to forever take away our sins so we could be united with Him forever.
And in the end, it’s all about love. God doesn’t just love, but He so loves. He loves to the extreme. He proved it by doing whatever was necessary to bridge the gap that sin created and reconnect with mankind. He gave the most precious thing that exists because we were worth it to Him. Out of all that God has made, people are His main focus, His special creation, those precious souls that He breathed life into Himself. And all He does demonstrates His love, from the Garden Eden to Jesus’ death and everything in between. Every interaction is a whisper from a Father to His own, saying, “I love you so much, and I am right here.”
What have we done with this gift that’s been given? How have we responded to the love that’s been shown? Have we believed the truth and accepted our Savior? Have we gained eternal life? Just a couple of years after He made this statement, Jesus carried a cross up a hill. He let some men hammer in some nails and raise Him up. He suffered, He bled, He died. He gave His life, just as He’d said. But just as He knew He would die, He knew also that He would rise again. He knew life was in His future. And if we’re willing to believe in Him, that same life is in our future, promised to us already by Jesus.