“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.
This is the simple message of the cross. Today we remember God’s love for the world. He loved us all so much that He sent His only son Jesus to live among us perfectly, and ultimately to die a horrifying, excruciatingly painful death on the cross in our place. Even worse than the physical pain, he bore the judgment of His Father as penalty for our sin. “Mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain” says a gripping, emotional Good Friday hymn, “O Sacred Head Now Wounded.” Having prayed to God the night before to be allowed to avoid drinking the cup of suffering, He cried out before dying, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” If you’ve ever been forsaken by a parent, or felt forsaken by God, can you imagine the emotional agony Jesus went through – in addition to the physical torment — in that moment? And he went through it all for us. Because of love. For God so loved the world.
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