2003-04-11 - He Did It for You
With the possible exception of "Jesus wept," it is probably the most-often memorized verse in the Bible.
John 3:16 (Ampflified Bible) For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
Pain has been at the forefront of my mind in recent days. There have been tragic stories of people tortured, raped and killed by the authorities in Iraq (as insome other countries). It's hard for some of us to grasp the horror of being treated so savagely by the very people who should be protecting us. Courageous men and women have been risking their own lives, to rescue these victims. Happily, things are looking up for the Iraquis, and seeing the joyous expressions on their liberated faces, makes the heart soar!
In our own home, our dog Pierre - who is a member of the family - has had what our vet said must be immense pain, from nerve damage related to a removed mass (thankfully noncancerous). It has been painful for ME to see him that way; I have wished it were me. I have cried many a tear in the last couple weeks. So I can only imagine what God felt when His "only begotten Son" was tortured for us.
If you are a parent, imagine voluntarily offering up your child to suffer on someone's behalf. If like me, you don't have any children, imagine putting your spouse or a dear friend in the place of someone else, to take that person's place, giving him or her over to torturers and murderers. In some cases, it would be a person who had not only rejected you, but used your name to curse, laughs at and disobeys your laws (which were for the person's own good, to start with), never speaks to you or only comes to you when he / she wants something, doesn't appreciate what you have done.
But that's just what God did. He loved you and me so much, that He put His Son in the path of unimaginable physical and emotional pain - for US. If you have ever pricked yourself with a pin, you know how that stings. Now imagine pushing the pin all the way through your finger or arm, and attaching yourself to a wooden beam with it.
The next time you call someone stupid, a "redneck," ugly or something else you wouldn't want to be called yourself, remember that God's own Son was tortured for that person. The next time you doubt how much God loves you, or feel that you aren't worth much yourself - remember how much you are worth to God.