John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the "Gospel in a nutshell," because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 "The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature."
The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4.
What, though, about Nisan 14, 33 A.D., did the Father feel, that night when Jesus was betrayed and arrested by a mob? How badly the Almighty God, who is love, felt as he watched his Son being deserted by his intimate friends, while illegally being placed on trial? How torn the Father’s heart was, as he watched his Son being ridiculed, spat upon, and beat in the face with fists? What about when the Son was scourged, with his back being torn to ribbons? Then, in real time, watching from heaven the Father’s Son was nailed hands and feet, to the cross, hanging there as the people reviled him. Then, the father watched on as his Son cried out the throes of agony. Finally, the Father watched on as his Son breathed his last breath.
Just as words fail us many times in life to convey our feelings, we must think of the feelings of the Father, the pain he suffered over the death of the Son, is likely beyond the words we humans can express. What we can convey is the motive behind the Father’s allowing this ransom sacrifice to take place. Why did the Father feel it necessary to subject himself to going through such a painful sacrifice and have his Son suffer to such an extent? John 3:16 tells us, a verse so powerful the motive behind such a sacrifice is, love. The Father’s gift to humanity, the sending of the Son to suffer a horrendous death for us, was the greatest act of love ever by the Father and the Son.