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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus and tells him, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

Why does the Son come? Is it because God is angry? Because God wants to lord it over us? Because God needs something? No, he comes purely out of love, out of God’s desire that we flourish: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

It is not in order to work out his anger issues that the Father sends the Son, but that the justice of the world might be restored. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s salvific intent, displayed throughout the Old Testament. He wanted to bring the divine life even into the darkest places. He wanted to hunt us down.

The Father, in short, sent the Son all the way into time, history, and the human condition. But then the Father sent him further, into our sin and dysfunction, and finally all the way down into hatred, violence, rejection, and death itself.