“Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Romans 5:7-8 NLT
Paul made a statement that is very difficult to accept, if put in the form of a question. Would I be willing to die in the place of another person? Come to that, would you, my reader, be prepared to do such a thing? I think the honest answer has to be “No, of course not”. There are stories of such a selfless act, of course, which was probably why Paul said “most people”. We can read of a man called Max Kolbe, who volunteered to die in the place of another prisoner of war in Auschwitz in 1941. And there are mentions of other selfless acts throughout history. But I think we can all agree that such a course of action is very rare because self-preservation is a built-in part of our psyche as human beings.
But God is not a human being. He is the Creator of the universe. All matter was brought into being by His Word. No words can totally describe who God is, by a long way. But there is one Godly quality that He has that we must consider from our verses today – He loves His human creation. Paul wrote, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”. Jesus, early on in His ministry, explained to a Jewish leader called Nicodemus why He, the Son of God, had come to Planet Earth. We read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. That is the ultimate sacrifice. No human being has come anywhere near such an act.
We pilgrims must share the Gospel message with those around us, the message about Jesus and how He died for all mankind, not just a select few. And in the process we share how much God loves them. It’s a life-changing experience. It will bring colour into a dull monochrome existence. It will bring a new dawn after a night of helplessness. It will bring hope to the hopeless. God’s love changes everything.
Dear Father. Your love for us is without bounds. We thank You for Your patience with us and Your free gift of salvation through Jesus. Amen.