Would You Kill Your Son?


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

Can you name the verse? Probably. John 3:16, one of the most well known, oft-quoted verses in the Bible. We see it plastered everywhere. Bumper stickers, greeting cards, bracelets, and some guy who seems to be at every major sporting event holding a large sign that says "3:16". Most of us learned this verse at an early age in Sunday school and can still recite some version of it by heart. Unfortunately, in our familiarity we often overlook the profundity of these words.

In studying this passage recently I was deeply affected by the words "...gave his only Son." September 4, 2007 was one of the happiest days of my life. On that day a little girl named Charis Marie Altrogge made her debut in life. From the moment she was born my heart was filled with an intense, fatherly affection for her. She is a joy and a delight to me. I love being with her, and seeing her smile, and hearing her coo, and watching her try to roll over. I would never give her up for anything or anybody, and I'll protect her at all costs. She is my only, precious daughter.

John 3:16 tells me that God gave His only, precious Son to save me. Ponder for a moment what it means that God gave His Son for you. God gave His son to be brutally beaten, tortured, humiliated, and nailed to a cross. Then God crushed Jesus, His precious son, under His furious wrath. He poured out all His fury and hatred towards sin upon His son, His beloved. God placed my sins upon the Savior, and then unleashed His mighty fury upon the son. O the grief that must have filled God's heart as He crushed His precious son. What sorrow must have filled the Father's heart as He brutally punished His son for my sins.

Can you feel the love of God pulsing from this passage? God gave up His beloved, precious son for wicked sinners like you and me? Would you ever give up your son or daughter to die? Never. Would you give up your son or daughter to die in place of a death-row murderer? Not in a million years. Yet that's what God has done for us. He gave up His son to die for those that hated Him. What incredible love! As Sinclair Ferguson says, "We should almost think God loved us more than He loves His Son."

What a loving God we serve. Let's rejoice in His great love for us today.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:00 AM  


In the daily routine of life, I sometimes forget what God has done for me. Thanks for the reminder of God's love. The gospel is truly beautiful!

December 14, 2007 at 10:57 AM  

What a beautiful picture of God's love...thank you, Stephen.

December 14, 2007 at 11:20 AM  

Servant of the king,

Yes it is easy to forget the glories of the gospel in the mundane. I'm glad this was helpful for you.

December 14, 2007 at 11:42 AM  


Our little girl is a wonderful reminder of the gospel.

December 14, 2007 at 11:43 AM  

Amazing! Beautiful little girl is she not? I know that God loves us with an immeasurable love and i am happy and unashamedly willing to report, that i am head over heels in love with Jesus Christ too! Thank you God for sending us your dear son, pleasing you to see him suffer so that we may be joined.

Youngblood said...
December 14, 2007 at 2:38 PM  

I have thought of that before, but only for fleeting moments; it is too hard on my heart to imagine giving on of my children over to suffer what Christ suffered for us. It is an amazing love that God possesses and yet in His likeness we have that same love to share as well. To love those that hate us - again something hard to do. Thank you for this post. I've been struggling with a few things lately and a friend recommended I head your way for an encouraging read... glad I did. Good thoughts to ponder, hard as it may be to do so.

December 14, 2007 at 3:20 PM  


Yeah it is really difficult to imagine giving over one of your children to suffer what Christ suffered. That's what makes the love of the Father so amazing!

December 14, 2007 at 5:38 PM  

stephen, thankyou.
thinking about the reality of the cross and trying to grasp what my finite mind can of it brings me to tears... "This is love..." (1 John 4:10)

and ben, charis is definitely a beautiful little girl...
love her so much.

beth said...
December 14, 2007 at 8:49 PM  


I'm glad you were encouraged. It's amazing what a little girl teaches you...

December 15, 2007 at 9:43 AM  

You're very welcome for the link. I've been blessed by your blog as well as your new CD. (We have recently begun singing "All I Really Need" with our church group during worship.)

Hannah said...
December 20, 2007 at 3:57 PM  

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