“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT

Consider a scenario where a male student at a Nigerian secondary school has a crush on a girl. One day, she misbehaves and is “sentenced” to caning by the Maths teacher. When students are flogged, she is known to be the crying baby. Since he could not bear to see her cry, he decided to take her place and because he did so, he got more strokes of the cane.

This is a depiction of the love of God as revealed to us in the death of His Son, Jesus Christ on the cross for us, but more sacrificial and painful. Jesus knew no sin, yet He was made to be sin on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21). He paid the price of the offense that He never committed. Paul explained that sin came into the world by Adam’s disobedience, and death came in by sin, this was passed unto all, and for that, all have sinned (Romans 5:12).

Like the symbolic lamb in the Old Testament, all the sins of the world were placed on Jesus and charged to His account. “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross [willingly offering Himself on it, as on an altar of sacrifice], so that we might die to sin [becoming immune from the penalty and power of sin] and live for righteousness…” (1 Peter 2:24, AMPC)

From our anchor verse, we see the demonstration of God’s love for humanity. Love is sacrifice, and God rightly expressed this by giving His Son to die in our place. God is sovereign. He cannot be questioned if nothing was done but even before we knew that we needed a Saviour, He made a way of escape from sin and death (Romans 5:6).

Moreover, this sacrifice is seen in the fact that Jesus Christ, who is God, gave Himself to be subjected to death for the sake of humanity.

“…He gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8, NLT).

There has never been any greater expression of love than Christ demonstrated in His death for humanity (John 15:16). God in man, died and rose as man for the salvation of man is the greatest love story ever told. Glory to God! Hallelujah! This is the definition of love, and your worldview of love must be defined in this light (1 John 3:16). Love is sacrifice.

Bible Reading Plan: Exodus 1-3

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