I spend time pondering things, and one thing that has been on my heart is this: how we teach that God could have nothing to do with sin, so He sent Jesus for His sake, so He could accept us again. Jesus, God in flesh, came into a depraved, sinful world. He did not sin, but sin was all around Him, and He loved those who were still lost in their sin. But if God could have nothing to do with sin, then why could He come in flesh into a world full of it? And love those people? Because if Jesus really was the express image of the Father, He is showing us that the Father loved us when we were full of the sinful nature and committing sin. Which of course it says in John 3:16.
Therefore, I don't think it was the Father that could have nothing to do with sinful people - it was sinful people who could have nothing to do with the Father, because His goodness in the midst of our depravity highlighted to us just how depraved we really were, and with that understanding came much shame, judgement, and condemnation of ourselves. We saw just how filthy we were when we were in the midst of that kind of love and goodness. No matter how much God loved us and desired to forgive us, He knew that we would always see ourselves filthy and ugly and naked and ashamed unless He gave us the right to see ourselves as fully forgiven, fully redeemed, fully holy, fully righteous. We would not be able to forgive ourselves even if He forgave us - we would not be able to receive His forgiveness without a sacrifice. And so He came - God on earth, as a man, the only one able to completely fulfill all the Law and redeem man from his own guilt and shame. I think the price that Jesus paid wasn't to satisfy God - I think it was to satisfy us. And how loving is that? That God would do something for us that He didn't require for Himself. He did this all for us. And that, that right there, is what His Love is all about.
He came and gave of Himself not for His own benefit, but for ours, so that we could see ourselves as children of God instead of children of wrath. So that when the enemy came and told us how awful and filthy and no-good we were, we could look at the point of the Cross and say with confidence "You are wrong - I am not those things because of what Jesus did for me.". Jesus hanging on the cross is a picture of the love of God in action.
Father, thank you for loving us so much. Thank you for the Jesus coming and giving us the right to see ourselves as You see us. Open up our eyes to see just how loved we really are by You. In Jesus' name, amen.