"So great was our misery, that no less remedy would suffice, and so great
God's mercy that He withheld Him [Jesus] not
from us." ~ Puritan Thomas Manton
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (ESV), the one verse that we all know so well and, therefore, too often gloss over the profound truths contained within. It really is astonishing that God would love the world. Consider how often we, as sinful creatures, are disgusted and repulsed by the vileness and depravity of mankind that comes across our news media or is within our limited social sphere. Then consider that our Holy God, who knows no sin, has witnessed every sin in thought, word, and deed of every human since time began. Truly the misery of the world is beyond our comprehension.
And yet God loved the world.
He saw us in all our misery and was willing to provide the only remedy for our sinful condition - his Son. God's love was so great that he not only would not withhold his Son, he could not withhold his Son. It was a promise of love the Godhead made before time began, and Jesus was the only one who would and could bear the load.
How should meditating on this marvelous love of God change me? It is my prayer that this year I will truly value what Christ has done in my life, that he will become more precious to me than anything this world has to offer, that I will more readily yield to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and that I will more faithfully serve him.
"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." II Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV