The Gift of God’s Son (Part Four of an Exploration of John 3:16)
Today we turn our attention to the gift that God gave. We saw in the previous post that God’s immeasurable love is such that he not only feels a great affection for the fallen world but that this feeling leads to concrete, sacrificial action: he gave us his Son!
Muslims consider it blasphemy to suggest that God has a son. Many Mormons happily affirm that Jesus is God’s son because they argue that God the Father, who has a literal, physical body, had sexual relations with Mary and she bore him a son, Jesus.
But the teaching of Scripture is that the Sonship of the second person of the Trinity is an eternal relation. The Father has always been the Father of the Son and the Son has always been the Son of the Father. There has never been a time when either was neither. These terms are employed to highlight the intimate relationship that exists between the first and second persons of the Godhead.
Let’s be careful we do not rush past the incredible reality that it was God’s “only Son” whom he gave for us. It was his unique, special, only Son; the Son who above all others was near and dear to his heart. This truth is the basis for what Paul would say in Romans 8:32 – “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
This may well be the most glorious assurance that God could ever give us. If he was happy and joyful in making for us the single greatest sacrifice that he could, how will he not then freely and just as happily make available every provision for our spiritual flourishing both now and in the age to come!
I can well imagine that God might be willing to sacrifice an angel. For God not to “spare” an angel makes sense. After all, there are probably millions of angels. What’s the loss of one from among so many? I can even envision God not sparing an archangel like Michael. That isn’t to say that he doesn’t love Michael. But his love for Michael pales infinitely in comparison with his love for his Son.
Or perhaps God might choose not to “spare” an angel like Gabriel. I can also see God sacrificing one of the four living creatures from the book of Revelation, or one of the seraphim or cherubim. But his own, precious, most highly beloved Son? How could God choose not to “spare” his own Son? But that is precisely what he did, so great is his immeasurable love for the world.
As the consummate expression of his love for this fallen, defiant world of sinners God did not spare his own Son; he made the greatest sacrifice imaginable. We see the magnitude of his love when we see the precious, priceless value of the gift he gave.