One of the most spiritual and powerful and heart spoken statements ever made has to be John 3:16 “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.” These words were spoken by St John the beloved. St John was in a lot of ways talking from first hand experience, he had been there the very night when Jesus was given into the hands of sinful men and that night when Jesus was given into the hands of sinful men was the very night when Jesus’ ordeal really began. What was happening here was that God was indeed GIVING His only begotten Son into the hands of sinful men, up until that point Jesus’ life was in His own hands and particularly in the hands of God His Father but the night when Judas betrayed Him and told the High Priest where they could find Him was the night when Jesus found Himself out of God’s hands and now He was in the hands of sinful men.
The high priests and Pharisees had arrested Jesus under cover of the night and they had done this to avoid being seen by large crowds, large crowds who three days earlier were shouting Hosanna to the King and this is what had infuriated the high priest so much that the crowds were now calling Jesus the King of Israel which of course He was and so murder was now in the hearts of the High Priests that night when they arrested Jesus! God of course understood all of this and as the verse says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” so here we have God GIVING Jesus into the hands of sinful men, from now onwards God’s hands would be tied! God in a lot of ways had become a spectator in an event which He could no longer intervene in. Jesus Himself had said, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve thousand legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). So normally a situation like this could very well warrant twelve legions of angels to be sent to Jesus’ aid. A legion in the dictionary means anything between three thousand and six thousand men; back in the days of the Romans they had legions of soldiers but on this occasion Jesus was talking of legions of angels so twelve lots of three thousand to six thousand angels are a lot of angels but God holds His peace and sends none. Here you get a picture of God’s agony and suffering and what He was really giving mankind here, already it was a massive sacrifice on God’s behalf and on Jesus’ behalf! How would you like to give the only son you have into the hands of murderous men and to then take your seat as a spectator and not able to call the police or do anything about it?
From that moment onwards, the night Jesus was arrested, Jesus would be deserted by all of His disciples and He would now face His captors all alone, God couldn’t intervene and powerful angels could do nothing! They could do nothing but watch and to see how all of this played out and of course they already knew because Jesus had gone on to say, “…that thus it must be” and of course scripture has to be fulfilled, it had been foretold long ago that all of this would happen and Jesus’ hour had come, it was the hour that He had dreaded His whole life but He knew these things had to be and why did they have to be? Because God so loved the world, He so loved all of US even though people are cruel and unkind to each other so often, God so loves us ALL. God so loved all of the people that had already died, He loved the people that were alive back in the days of Noah. Back in the days of Noah God had made a powerful statement when He said that they now had one hundred and twenty years left before the flood came and so God’s long suffering had waited in the days of Noah for one hundred and twenty years while the Ark was being prepared and yet no one back then would change their wicked ways and so Jesus was destined to die for all of mankind, for everyone that had ever been born and everyone who would be born in our day and age and God in His foresight knew how we would all turn out but still God’s hands were tied, He was GIVING His Only Son to save us all! He knew that His long long suffering would watch and wait in our day as it had done in Noah’s day and He also knew that many many would not change or choose to accept this incredibly massive self-sacrificial self-suffering gift that both God and Jesus were GIVING to mankind! And so Jesus was spat on and buffeted that night and then He would be whipped thirty-nine times the next day, He would carry His own cross through a mocking crowd although He had done nothing wrong and then He would endure a cruel cross for six long agonising hours (the amount of time Jesus was on the cross) and still a long long suffering God was bound by His Own Word and His Own promises that He had given to mankind.
God could not and would not go back on His Own promises, He so loves us that He would not let us down, He would keep His Word and Jesus as a living sacrifice was keeping His Word and holding His peace as God was holding His peace and Jesus now all alone with few friends left. His own earthly mother and John would also look on and were powerless to do anything about all of this but there was still one more great sacrifice left to me made, all of course seemed like loss so could it get any worse? Yes, the worse was yet to come, God Himself would now give up on His Own Son, He would forsake Him and in this same sense He would disown Him as if He was disowning sin – God cannot in any way go with sin, Jesus cannot in any way go with sin, even if it cost Him His life, He could not go with sin! And now God was to forsake Jesus as if Jesus was sin and this is when Jesus would die, He died on a cross but it was NOT the cross that killed Him, what killed Jesus was a broken heart; His heart practically split in two when God gave up on Him, it was like God giving up on a sinner when He had been given so many chances and had thrown them all back in God’s face and so here was Jesus who had done nothing wrong, nothing at all, and God was forsaking Him like He was the worst evil there ever was; Jesus was dying for every possible conceivable evil that mankind had ever committed and so God was forsaking Jesus for all of that, Jesus was taking the punishment that we all deserve and so at that moment in time when God forsook Him Jesus died of complete and utter loneliness and abandonment and a broken heart and so He cried out “…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and so He gave up the ghost and died! So for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in what God and Jesus have done for US ALL should not perish but have everlasting life!
Everlasting life here means that we would have the everlasting Life and Love of Jesus and Love of God in our lives forever and ever for all eternity – simply believe and take in all that both God and Jesus have done for you and you will have everlasting life, see this as a new beginning and choose to give up on all of your past mistakes, take this love gift of God as a mercy offering – God is offering to forgive YOU for All of your past mistakes and wrong doings. By taking Jesus into your heart you get a completely clean slate, a chance to start all over again with a clean heart!