No rebukes this week. No complaints. Not even any sarcasm (probably).
Just one glorious proclamation:
"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
(Romans 5:8 ESV)
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Most people probably still know that Good Friday is the day that Christians set aside to remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Different denominations have different traditions for celebrating it, but all would agree that there is something special about the day.
But why is this so special?
Taking a look at the above verse a phrase at a time should just totally blow our socks off, that's why.
but God shows his love for us - Most people probably take this for granted. Though people argue against God's wrath, no one (except those who deny the very existence of God) argues against God's love. But looking at Romans 5:8 in context shows us just why this very first phrase is amazing. As near as verse 1, we see:
"since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 5:1 ESV)
If we have peace with God by being justified by faith, we must therefore be at war with him when we choose not to have faith. BUT GOD SHOWS HIS LOVE FOR US. Wow. What a concept, that even though we choose to rebel and fight against him, he still loves us! Wow.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners - God didn't wait for us to get our act together. He didn't withhold his love while we tried in vain to clean ourselves up. He didn't sit passively by while we overcame our addictions, left our sinful lifestyles, or changed our attitudes. WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS he showed his love for us. Wow. When we were completely unlovable, God loved us anyway. Wow.
But unrevealed love is really no love at all. So...
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us - God sent his son, Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, the one through whom all things were made, Lord of lords and King of kings, to die for us. Why? To show us that even though we were steeped and sick in sin, God loves us. Wow.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
So not only did God show us his love by sending Christ to die for us when were still sinners, but this verse says that God made Jesus into sin itself! God punished sin and not the sinner by unleashing his wrath on the sinless Jesus Christ.
Wow. Just. Wow.
If you've read this and it resonates at any level, take time now to go to God and
(A)dmit that you're a sinner
(B)elieve that Jesus wants to forgive you and can save you from your sins, and
(C)onfess him as Lord. In other words, tell God that you now agree that Jesus is Lord, and that from now on you will allow him to be lDo it now, before anything can come up to keep you from doing it! It's the most important conversation you will ever have, for your very eternity depends on it.
Praying that you all have a "Wow" Easter!