Hidden in this week’s Gospel for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the more familiar passage known simply as John 3:16: For 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.
You might be tempted to hear John 3:16 and forget some of the context around it. Prior to 3:16, Jesus says to Nicodemus: No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
God sent his Son from heaven to earth, knowing that he would suffer and die. Jesus willing came, knowing that he would suffer and die.
And we cannot forget 3:17 either: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.