The Apostle John begins before the beginning of Genesis 1:1 with John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and then, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). This was the beginning of the end for the eventually crushing of the serpent’s head (Gen 3:15).
In the Old Testament the sacrificial “lamb shall be without blemish” (Ex 12:5) but these only covered sin but you and I “were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1st Pet 1:18-19) and He takes all our sins away (Psalm 103:12). That was what God required to have us become the very righteousness of God through Christ (2nd Cor 5:21).
Loving the Unlovable
We might think we loved God first and sought after Him but the fact is we love God only “because He first loved us” (1st John 4:19). It wasn’t “Jesus was once lost but now Him I found” but rather, grace is so amazing because “One we were lost but now we are found.” He found us and loved us, even while we were not very loveable, and falling so far short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). God made the first move; we just had to repent and believe.
Suffering for Sinners
Jesus suffered and died so that we might receive eternal life by trusting in Him. God’s love was displayed in “while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6). We know that “one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:7-8). That means you and me.
Dying for Enemies
That is the ultimate expression of God’s love is shown when Jesus asked the Father to forgive them because they didn’t really know what they were doing (Luke 23:34) but Jesus knew exactly what He was doing because it was “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10). Dying for one’s enemies is the most supreme act of all, especially considering that we too were once enemies of God.
John 3:16 gives us a broad sweep of the love of God as the Father sent the unique and only Son of God to die for those who would believe in Him. This kind of love is called “agape love” and is the highest form of love there is; a self-sacrificial love that comes from God because God is love (1st John 4:8).