In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. —1 John 4:9
God sent His Son to die! What love! The greatest Christmas gift ever! He demonstrated this love by dying for us while we were still sinners. Yet His death was not the end but the beginning of a host of mankind who love God, spending an eternity with the Father.
There was no other way. The price had to be paid for our sin. The Father needed a perfect Lamb to take on the sins of fallen man. Only God Himself could be the perfect sacrifice to take on all sin for all time. And only the blood of His Son could cause God the Father to see us as righteous.
He didn’t die because we loved Him, but because He loved us first, enough to send His only begotten Son to die for us.
So, if God loved us this much, shouldn’t we also love each other, as the scripture commands? And if we love one another, with Godly love, shouldn’t we also be willing to lay down our life for our brother? We are not often required to go to such extremes, literally, but can we give our lives over to reaching the lost by speaking of the love of God?
God Himself says it best:
“And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” —1 John 4:21
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” —1 John 4:8)