Acrylic on Watercolor Paper
“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).
We have all sinned against God and are therefore eternally separated from him. However, God loves us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the punishment for our sins through his atoning death on the cross. He rose from the dead three days later, making forgiveness and reconciliation with God possible. When you repent (turn away) from your sins and place your faith in Jesus, believing that he has personally paid the punishment for your sins, then you will be forgiven and brought into a loving relationship with God that will last throughout eternity.
This message of John 3:16 has been translated into more world languages than any other Bible verse. This painting features John 3:16 in many different world languages, including this excerpt in Hebrew.
“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)
Throughout the Torah, the Psalms and the Prophets, the Lord promised to send the Messiah to save his people, and the Lord never lies or breaks his word. “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations…” (Psalm 119:89-90).
The Lord gave us over 300 prophecies in the Torah, the Psalms and the Prophets, describing many details about the Messiah and his life. All of them were fulfilled in the person of Jesus (Yeshua). (See “Can You See Jesus Fulfilled Biblical Prophecies?” (Signs of The Times Series)).
Some of these prophecies include:
1) He would be born in Bethlehem.
Prophesied: Micah 5:2
Fulfilled: Matthew 2:1-6, Luke 2:1-7
2) He would be born of a virgin.
Prophesied: Isaiah 7:14
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-25
3) He was declared to be the Son of God.
Prophesied: Psalm 2:7
Fulfilled: Matthew 3:17
4) He would be betrayed by a friend.
Prophesied: Psalm 41:9
Fulfilled: Mark 14:10-11, 17-21, 43-50
5) He was sold for 30 pieces of silver, which was thrown into the temple and would finally be given to the potter (from whom the potter’s field was purchased).
Prophesied: Zechariah 11:12-13
Fulfilled: Matthew 26:14-15, Matthew 27:1-10
6) He would be pierced (crucified).
Prophesied: Psalm 22:16, Isaiah 53:5, Zechariah 12:10
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:32-56, Mark 15:21-38, Luke 23:26-40, John 19:17-37
7) His life would be a guilt offering, a ransom for sins
Prophesied: Isaiah 53:8-10
Fulfilled: Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45
8) He would be buried with the rich.
Prophesied: Isaiah 53:9
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:57-60
9) He would be resurrected from the dead.
Prophesied: Psalm 16:10-11, Psalm 49:15, Isaiah 53:11
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:62-28:15, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24, John 20
10) The Messiah would come before the destruction of the temple.
Prophesied: Daniel 9:26
Fulfilled: 70 AD
Perhaps the most important prophetic passage about the Messiah was uttered by Isaiah in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
“See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him–his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness–so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth.
“Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils of the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Seven times within this Messianic passage, it has been prophesied that the Messiah would take our sins upon himself (become a sin offering–Romans 8:3-4, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 7-10) and take the punishment for them in our place.
1) …But he was pierced for our transgressions… (vs 5)
2) …he was crushed for our iniquities… (vs 5)
3) …the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all… (vs 6)
4) …for the transgression of my people he was stricken… (vs 8)
5) …the LORD makes his life a guilt offering… (vs 10)
6) …and he will bear their iniquities… (vs 11)
7) …For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors… (vs 12)
The Lord himself declares that shed blood is the only basis by which sins can be taken away.
In the Torah, the Lord has said, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” (Leviticus 17:11).
The Lord is not like man that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19), nor does he break his word (Psalm 119:160). Just as the Lord himself provided the sacrificial lamb on Mount Moriah for Abraham, so also the Lord provided the perfect Lamb, the prophesied Messiah, Jesus (Yeshua), to bear the just punishment for our sins as our once-for-all sin offering.
Just as the Israelites put faith in the Lord that the lambs they sacrificed as sin offerings atoned for their sins, so now we must also put our complete faith in Jesus, the perfect and final sacrificial Lamb of God, trusting that he has atoned for our sins once-for-all through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.
To be forgiven and eternally reconciled to God, you must first repent (confess and turn away from your sins). Secondly, you must place your faith in Jesus Christ, believing that he has paid the full punishment for your sins.
“[Jesus said,] ‘Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:14-18)
“The Jews gathered around him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered, ‘I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’” (John 10: 24-30)
“When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.’ In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–I have come to do your will, O God.’ [Psalm 40:6-8]”
First he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’ (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.’ [Jeremiah 31:33]
Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’ [Jeremiah 31:34]
And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”