For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3.16 (NIV)

This is where Jesus comes in.  You see, God is not simply just, he is also loving and merciful: he doesn’t want us all to die!  But, justice must be served.  He cannot simply ignore our sin, as if it never happened.  Those of us who have been victims of injustice, abused and neglected, and worse – we need justice to be done!  So God needed to find a way to satisfy both his holiness, the need for justice, and his love, his desire to be merciful.

This is where Jesus comes in.

When John says, ‘the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,’ it wasn’t a holiday for Jesus.  He became fully human, like us in every way (except without sin), but not on a whim, to see what it’s like, to take a break from heaven.

No: ‘Jesus’ means ‘God saves.’  And that is exactly why he came: to pay the price for our sin, to stand in our place and bear the punishment we deserve, so we don’t have to.  He is like a judge, handing down a fair penalty for everything we have done, but then coming and serving that penalty himself, so we don’t have to.

But there is even more..

Next: A greater gift…