“Whom God set forth to be a reconciliation through faith in His blood . . .” (Romans 3:25, Geneva).Please forgive my tardiness with delivering this week’s e-sight devotional. I was on my way out of town for two weeks, and I desired to spend the three days I had at home with my lovely wife and three children. I’m sure you understand.
The above verse, which we are pondering this week states two of the greatest central themes from the everlasting gospel. First, the gift of Christ was initiated by God Himself, and second, it was for the purpose of reconciliation. Reconciliation is defined by the dictionary as “The ending of conflict or renewing of a friendly relationship between disputing people or groups.”
However, notice that this gift, with the end result of reconciliation in mind, was made by God. We, therefore, have two options to explain why God desired to reconcile with us. The first option is that God is the offended party, and out of duty, He gave us His Son because He felt it was the right thing to do. The second option is that God is the misunderstood party, and we are the offended; we declared civil war against heaven, and Christ came forth to reveal to us the truth about the Father in an effort to win back our love and allegiance.
This week, I would like to point out what is not said in John 3:16.
The passage does not say that God was “So angry with the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” nor does it say that God was “So offended with what this world did that He gave His only begotten Son.” No, no, dear reader, it states, too clearly to be misunderstood that God “So loved this world that He gave His only begotten Son.” He took all that was precious, and He gave; He gave all.
God appears to be whispering to us, “Your sin is against me, but I will bear it” (1 Peter 2:24); “Your debt is to me, but I will cancel it and nail to my cross” (Colossians 2:13,14); “Your grievances are against me, yet I will frankly forgive them all” (Luke 7:42); “I know, even if when you do not, that in regards to me, you have believed a lie” (Genesis 3:1-6); “You are under a delusion. Will you not let me show you the truth?” (John 8:32); “Will you let me show you who I really am? “
These are the questions all of heaven is asking. When all is said and done, of how many others, like Abraham, Lot, Daniel, Moses, and Paul, will it be said, “Behold one who was once lost, but whom once again has become My Friend.”
Listen, O heavens, and hear, O Earth, for the LORD speaks: “Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know [Me], My people do not understand [Me]” (Isaiah 1:2-3).
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 18-20).
(For more on this topic please listen to Who Do You See?)