August 13, 2007

The Pain-filled Gift

John 3:14-17

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son ...” John 3:16


At our bank it became the custom, on the last Wednesday of April, for managers to give flowers to the staff who worked for them. I participated in this gift-giving ritual, but a ritual is all it was; the flowers did not cost me much, and within a day or two the gift was forgotten by both giver and receiver.

But now think of God's gift to us. As the God of the universe, the creator of every molecule that has ever existed or ever will exist-the Son of God became contained within one galaxy, one solar system, one planet, one continent, in a muddy collection of molecules of mostly water and an assortment of minerals. He was liable to bacterial and viral infections, weariness and pain, and to all the curses resulting from sin and the fall. God the Father gave God the Son to be lifted up on a cross, after being unjustly condemned, suffering every torment thrown at him by hell and Satan.

There was pain for the one who became this gift. The Son of God suffered in our place. But there was also pain for the Giver. God the Father watched the humiliation of his beloved Son, who went through infinite pain to make the infinite sacrifice for our sake. All this happened because of God's infinite love, by which he forgives us and makes us heirs of his inheritance-eternal life, starting now and lasting forever-all to his glory.

Infinitely giving Father God, we do not have enough thanks to offer you for the gift of salvation that cost you so much. Still, we do offer our thanks. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Fred Bultman

Fred Bultman began a “second career” as a pastor in 1997, after a first career in the banking business.  He served as pastor to congregations in the U.S. and Canada. In retirement, he continues to enjoy sharing in the ministry of the churches in and around his home in Fremont, Michigan.

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