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God Loved The World That Much . . .

Noah loved God so much that when God told him to build a huge boat, he went immediately to work, despite the ridicule, doing things that were completely out of the ordinary and laboring for years and years. That’s what love will do, and God loved the world that much.

Abraham loved God so much that when God told him to offer his beloved son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to Him, Abraham obeyed. Can you hear Abraham moan? Can you see his hand trembling? Love sometimes leads down very painful roads. God walked down those painful roads because He loved the world that much.

Hosea loved Gomer so much that he swallowed the shame, the intense pain of her rejection, her unfaithfulness, her loathsome harlotry, and kept hoping, forgiving, and reaching out to her. It is amazing what love can endure. God endured. He loved the world that much.

Men and women have loved our America to the depth that they have given their lives for her, protecting her from harm, protecting the precious freedom she provides, protecting their loved ones from potential danger. The dedication and the loyalty and the courage that love portrays is awesome. Did you ever stop to realize that God loved the world that much?

God loved the world so much that He went to unimaginable depths to reveal that love to the world, to the people groping in darkness. His love surpassed Noah’s, Abraham’s, Hosea’s, and all of our patriots. Love gives. God is Love.

The manifestation of His love began in a stark stable on a starry night in Bethlehem, where there was the stench of animals, the nauseous odor of the sweat and blood of a woman having given birth, and the cry of a newborn babe. We give our adulation to Him for this remarkable act of love at Christmas time.

So the curtain had been pulled back, the actors were in their places and God’s masterpiece of writing had begun. Jesus made His miraculous entry, and each act would be focused on Him for the rest of the presentation.

What parts does Jesus play? In one scene He’s a young boy being scolded by His mom and dad for causing them to worry when He wasn’t where He was supposed to be. It’s hard to imagine our Jesus being reprimanded by His mother like a little boy. In another scene, He’s working with His dad in the carpentry shop, listening carefully as Joseph instructs Him on how to use the woodworking tools.

Then the set is changed because He leaves home and other actors come on stage: Peter, Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew, Thomas, James, Simon, Judas, and Judas Iscariot. In one setting Jesus is sitting around a campfire laughing and talking to his friends, eating and sleeping under the heavens from which vantage point God is watching as the story unfolds.

A very talented actor plays Lazarus because he had a major role in the life of Jesus; he was His dearest friend. The audience is very still during the part where Jesus, weeping, commands Lazarus to come forth out of the tomb, and some folks sitting in the audience cheer and clap for joy when Lazarus, wrapped in linen cloths, stumbles blindly from the darkness of the cave.

As you would suspect, the last scenes are the most breathtaking and demanding for everyone on stage. There’s Jesus being flogged until His back was shredded-strips of flesh hanging loose; blood streaming down His face from the thorns shoved onto His head as a crown. His screams penetrate the spellbound studio when the nails are driven into His hands and feet. And there’s hardly a dry eye in the audience as Mary, wailing, lifts her head toward heaven and clutches her Son’s lifeless body close to her breast.

But the mood changes dramatically when Jesus walks from His tomb and is lifted up into the heavens. There’s a standing ovation, with people yelling, "Bravo! Bravo, Jesus! Bravo!" We give God adulation for His unfathomable love and His amazing plan on a Sunday that we call Easter.

I wonder how many of those watching will forget Jesus? But then, how many will tell their friends, "You’ve got to see this! It’s wonderful! It changed my life—really changed it!" How many will remember His innocent boyhood as He walked the dusty roads with His parents? How many will relive the raising of Lazarus, and how many will whisper "Bravo, Jesus!" as they remember the last scenes?

There will be those who will give adulation—who pay their homage—only on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. It surely must be they don’t comprehend that God loved the world that much. Of course, that means He loves them that much. They need to see the play again, don’t they, and shed a few tears and yell with the other Believers, as loud as they can, "Bravo! Bravo!" and then whisper, "Thank you, Jesus, thank you for loving me that much.

For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 TLB

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.