The simple question that people have wrestled with for decades is, “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” If this is a question that you have been troubled by, I want you to know I have the answer for you. It was the chicken. There—now you can resume your life and check that off your bucket list of questions.
This now leads to a new question, “What does this have to do with Pondering God?” or “Has Craig completely lost it?” I can tell you I have not lost it (well, at least I have not lost it completely). This question comes to my mind from perhaps the best known verse of the entire Bible.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (NIV)
See it? The chicken and the egg. Take a moment and ponder this verse with me. This best known and most loved verse of the Bible is often misunderstood by us. The emphasis here is on the love of the Father who sent His Son into the world.
Jesus did not come into the world and die on the cross to MAKE the Father love us.
Jesus was sent by the Father into the world to die on a cross BECAUSE the Father loves us.
Why is this a big deal? Why do we need to get this right? Because the first idea assumes that the Father is against us. It tells us that our sin is so bad that God certainly would not want anything to do with us. It tells us that we are so far from Him and there is no way He could ever love us. If it were really up to the Father, He would let you have it.
When I first started dating Shirley and went to meet her parents for the first time, I wondered if they liked me. It was hard to tell; they were nice and everything, but was that just because Shirley was there? Were they merely tolerating me for Shirley’s sake? I know, sadly, there are people I have learned to tolerate for the sake of someone else and we would not be friends otherwise. But praise God that our Heavenly Father is not like that.
God is not against us, and merely tolerating us for Jesus’ sake. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,” God loves you, He is crazy about you. Don’t ever lose sight of that fact. Satan loves to fill our minds with lies, so if you don’t believe me, take God’s word for it. Hear these amazing words again, spoken from Jesus to Nicodemus.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. “
John 3:16-17 (NIV)