Up till now there hasn’t been much good news. Actually, to be honest, it’s really bad news. On our own, we are left with only a fearful expectation of judgment that we deserve. But that’s not what God wants for us. God loves us.
What is love? If you go by how the world defines it, you’ll find that “Love” most often takes instead gives. For many, it’s related to sex, power, and self-gratification. This kind of love wants to know, “What’s in it for me?”. In sharp contrast, God shows us what true love looks like, what it does, and what it produces. It gives, forgives, and brings life.
God loves us. But what does that mean? What does that look like? Well, it looks like a winter night 2000 years ago in the hills near Bethlehem when God sent His angels to proclaim to shepherds that a Savior – Jesus Christ – had been born. This is what is celebrated at Christmas. But God’s love didn’t stop there. He walked among us and had compassion on the lost and broken. He cared for the souls of those He had made. Ultimately, God expressed His love through Jesus Christ hanging, suffering, bleeding, and dying on a cross for us.
Why is that an expression of love? We need to remember, God is perfect. We have offended Him and our sin has broken our relationship with Him. Because He is just, God must judge all wrong-doing. And yet, God is love. According to the Bible, because He loves us, God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ – to pay the penalty for our offenses so that justice could be fully satisfied and so that we could be restored back to relationship with Him. He accomplished this by Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus was our substitute. He died the death we deserved for us so that we could live. God was completely satisfied with Jesus’ atoning work and raised Him up three days later. It’s hard to understand it all, but it’s true. He gave His Son for us – His life for ours… because He loves us. Consider what the Bible says:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
1 Timothy 2:2-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…
The fact that our Creator loves us and has made it possible for us to be forgiven and have peace with Him is good news! In fact, it’s the best news ever. The question is, what will you do with it?