April 7, 2021
Pr. Paul Cannon
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us –
and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
1 John 3:16
Happy Easter everyone!
Look at this verse above (go ahead, I’ll give you a second). You might have noticed on second glance, that it isn’t the verse you think of first, when you see “John 3:16” written in print. That verse is of course from the Gospel of John and begins, “For God so loved this world …” It’s probably the most well-known verse in all of scripture.
The verse in the header is FIRST John 3:16. It’s one of the Epistles (or letters), located way in the back of New Testament. It’s always struck me as serendipity, that both John 3:16 verses reference Jesus’ sacrificial love. Of course, I treasure both, but if I had to pick one I love the most, it’s the verse from 1 John, “We know love by this …”
The next few weeks of this Easter Season, we’ll be dwelling in the book of 1 John (not the Gospel), and we’ll take our theme from this verse, We know love by this …
I love this verse because it not only conveys the same sense of God’s love, but then it turns around, looks us in the eye, and says to us, therefor YOU “ought to lay down (your) lives for one another.”
Oh! I knew God loved me, but I didn’t know I was supposed to do something about it!
If the cross proves anything, it’s God’s love for the world. That’s how we come to know God. That’s how God’s love is revealed.
But in the resurrection, the responsibility of that love is placed on our shoulders. We’re meant to carry that same love for one another.
We hope you join us the next few weeks in this Easter Season as we dive into the book of 1 John. We’ll continue this conversation about God’s love, and how we are called to bring that love to the world.