THE bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Have you ever noticed that embedded in this text is a contract? In this business-like proposition, there are two entities, two sides if you will. God on one side, and the second side is called ‘whosoever’. In that transaction, God proposes an exchange: the life of his son in exchange for the will of the individual called ‘whosoever’. In that bargain, the product of the result of the proposition is the eternal life of the entity called whosoever. In that contract, God brings the superior item of exchange – the life of his son. The second party brings the inferior item – ‘His will’.
Who stands to gain more?
Here is what Whosoever stands to gain:
Rev. 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
1 Cor. 15: 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Verse 54: So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
The ‘whosoever’ party stands to gain eternal life – blissful living forever and life without pain and sorrow. Out of the contract, God’s only gain is the restoration of broken vessels. ‘Whosoever, stands to gain more, while God bears the brunt of the risk.
While God took the biggest risk, ‘Whosoever’ reaped the benefit!
A risk calculation is to determine whether a risk is worth it – Maximum gain versus the possibility of great loss (Nationwide).
It means that the value of a risk is determined by the maximum the decision-maker stands to gain; but if that risk does not deliver, the maximum is what he stands to lose. The risk is a bet made on giving up something good for something that is potentially better. As such, what type of risk calculations did God undertake by giving the life of his son and leaving the results of the reward in the hands of fallible human beings – humans who had shown themselves incapable of making effective choices even when they were perfect in the Garden of Eden.
What happens if there is a risk within the risk?
This risk was the loss of the life of God’s only begotten son. The purpose of the risk was the salvation of man. The risk within God’s risk is that the rewards were dependent on flawed humans believing and accepting his sacrifice. It means that God’s return-on-investment was dependent on the fallen man. For the sacrifice of Jesus to have paid dividends, man had to believe. That sounds like an inferior return-on-investment. The restoration of ‘whosoever’ does not seem a good bargain for the son of God, but God chooses to execute the contract regardless!
The Apostle Paul argues that such a transaction is unusual:
Rom. 5:7, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die” – meaning that if the chance is taken for a good person, the loss may be worth it; but to die for murderers, thieves, and even the people that crucified Jesus? Paul’s point is that such a transaction is unprecedented. What would compel any parent to risk his or her life or the life of a child as God gave his own? In the Old Testament, Abraham was willing to risk Isaac. However, Paul suggests that it would be hard to undertake such sacrifice for a good person, much less for murderers and thieves.
God’s reward for his risk stood against him.
But let’s say you found a reason to commit the life of your child for a good cause, would you do it for people who hated you?
But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. “…when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” Romans 5:10.
God was willing to exchange the life of his son to win the world over, even though he knew that the very species for whom he was sacrificing his son hated him. But he did it anyway!
That was the first great risk, the second is ours.
On our end, what are we willing to do for our own salvation? What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? What shall a man require in exchange for his soul? If God risks that much, what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul?
Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Matt. 16:24-25, Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. Jesus is talking about how we value things in life. “You know, we give great concern about material things: investments, savings accounts, retirements, accumulation of property…But, at the very same time, we show very little interest in eternal things” (https://letthebiblespeak.tv/). But, are we willing to risk placing following Jesus above those things.
In fact, our placing Jesus first is not a risk at all, because he promised to provide all material needs, if we put him ahead:
Matthew 6:33 (AMP), “But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.”
We have nothing to lose!