Spring is in the air! Birds are singing, buds are forming on tree branches, and perennial flowers are beginning to emerge from the ground. It seems like we have seen the last of ice and snow. That is good news! It is fitting that Easter coincides with our Spring season as we are beginning to see signs of new life in nature, we celebrate the Risen Savior. That is The Good News! No other Bible verse so eloquently expresses The Good News as John's Gospel does in a verse so many have committed to memory throughout the ages .
John 3:16 was the focal passage of the Rick Warren daily devotional that I recently had the privilege to share with the dear residents of Avondale Senior Village. In the devotion, Warren points to a beautiful illustration about how the very structure of John 3:16 summarizes the entire Bible in one verse and vividly points to the Gospel. "The verse (KJV) has twenty-five words. The middle word, which is the thirteenth word is 'Son,' which refers to Jesus. The first twelve words of the verse are all about God; 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten.' The last twelve words are all about you and me; 'That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' That is a picture in words of the Gospel. The Bible says that God is on one side, and humankind is on the other side, and Jesus Christ came to earth to bring them together. He is the connection! He is the bridge over troubled waters. He is the mediator between God and us. Jesus came to restore a broken relationship with
our Father and creator. This verse beautifully llustrates the very basics of the Gospel which is the Good News, and the most important message in the history of the world."
One of the residents, a retired Methodist minister, exclaimed, "I love that verse, but I love the next one even more. "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17 KJV). That really is Good News! Too often, Christians overlook this part of the message and feel it is their job to judge and condemn others who might not share their views.
That is a distortion of the message of love that God intended for the world. Let us be mindful that The Good News is for everyone, He loves all of us, and that He is alive!