March 11, 2018 — Fourth Sunday of Lent
2 CHR 36: 14-16, 19-23; PS 137: 1-6; EPH 2: 4-10; JN 3: 14-21
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Do we really need a more powerful reminder of the importance of Lent and Easter than that?
That verse (from John 3:16) has become very popular in modern culture, to the point that we see it often at athletic events. When the University of Florida played for the national college football championship in 2009, quarterback Tim Tebow did not wear the regular eye black under his eyes. Under his right eye it said “John” and under his left eye it said “3:16.” God sends us messages all the time, if we listen and are attentive.
Tebow did not have a remarkable professional career, but he was the quarterback of the Denver Broncos against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2012 playoffs. The Broncos won, and in that game Tebow passed for 316 yards; his completed passes averaged 31.6 yards; perhaps the key play in the game came on third down and 16; the TV ratings for the game were 31.6%.
That is not the important aspect, however. What is important is that the truth of that statement is so simple; nevertheless, it is difficult for us to completely grasp its significance. The truth is that God loves us, no matter what we are or what our attitude toward God is. The world that God gave His Son to save is our world. We are the children of God.
This Lenten season is a time to see that and accept it as truth.