Romans 5: Dying for Love

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)

If you’re just joining us this week, we’ve been building a list. We’ve been itemizing all the huge things Paul describes in Romans 5 that God has done for us in relation to our salvation. It’s a list that always makes me feel more humble and more deeply loved by God. He owed me zilch, and he gave me – and everyone in Christ – all of this.

cross_350Of course, he did it because I was such a good person, right? He could see into my heart and knew that something special was beating inside of me, that I would one day earn the sacrifice of his only and deeply loved Son Jesus. Right? Wrong. The only good in me was the good left over from his original design. Everything I’d done with it was bad, sinful, wrong, and weak.

Today’s passage says we were powerless sinners when Christ died for us. He didn’t do it because we were sorry and really wanted to be better (we didn’t), and he didn’t do it because we were bursting with potential and just needed a hand up to get on our feet. The truth is, we needed him to give us the potential and the hands and the feet. We had nothing to offer, and we were against him. (That’s part of what it means to be a sinner.)

So why did he do it? The answer doesn’t satisfy me, because it doesn’t give me anything to take credit for and I don’t really understand it. But I’m so grateful that it’s true.

Think: Think about the human being who loves you most in the world. Can you see yourself maybe dying for that person? Now think about the person who likes you least, maybe even despises you? (Think of his or her face.) Would you ever want to die for him or her? Can you imagine asking that person who loves you most to die for the one who can’t stand you?

Pray: Thank God for demonstrating his baffling love for you by sending Jesus to die for us. Then maybe thank him again.

Do: Amend your list with today’s addition: 8) We have proof of God’s love.