Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17; Matthew 17:1-9

In the story before us today is one the most memorized verses in all of Scripture. Many have read the story of Nicodemus’ coming to Jesus and have committed to memory the grace-filled offer of God in John 3:16, but may not have not taken the time to consider the full measure of what God has done for us in the giving of His “only begotten Son”. Today I invite you to consider with me God’s love for us expressed in the these two words …. “He (God) gave”.

When Jesus tells Nicodemus, “He (God) gave”, Jesus knew that “giving” here meant far more than being “given”, that He might teach, heal, and help those He would encounter in His earthly ministry. He knew it meant the Cross!

Jesus knew that entailed in the “giving” was His ultimate rejection by the most religious of God’s people.

He knew that it would mean His abandonment by those closest to Him, those whom He called to Himself and poured His life into for three years.

He knew it meant that he would face, for no sin of His own, but our sins, the most cruel death known to mankind … His crucifixion on Calvary!

So, as you make your way toward Easter this year, I want to encourage you to reflect on the “Gift God gave to you at Calvary”. Pause and consider again during this Lenten Season, the magnitude of God’s love for you that He would “give” for you His only Son to die that you may live.

Dr. Jim Thrower – Retired Elder Church of the Nazarene – Sumter, SC

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