This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10 NIV)
I suspect that many preachers and evangelists have left the false impression in our churches that Christ won God over to our side by dying for us. We have been encouraged to think of the Father as the angry God standing with the club of vengeance, about to destroy sinning mankind. But suddenly Jesus rushes in and takes the blow, allowing us to escape.
That may be good drama, but it is poor theology!
Here is the truth of the matter. The Father in heaven so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. It was the love of the Father that sent the Son into our world to die for mankind. The Father and Son and Spirit were in perfect agreement that the eternal Son should die for the sins of the world. We are not wrong to believe—and proclaim—that while Mary's Son, Jesus, died alone, terribly alone, on that cross, the loving heart of God the Father was as deeply pained with suffering as was the heart of the holy, dying Son.
Your love, O God, is so deep and wide!
We cannot begin to imagine what it was like for the Father to give the Son or for the Son to lay aside the exercise of His divine prerogatives to identify with us and to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is God Love!
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