IN THE NICK OF TIME!
“You see, just at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will one die for a righteous person, though for a good person one might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him.” Romans 5:6-9.
Can one person die for another? Of course! On many occasions all over the world, people have given their lives to save another.
So what was Paul saying? Was Jesus’ death any different? In what way did He give His life to save others? There was no emergency or crisis where He intervened to put His life on the line to rescue someone in danger.
There is a much greater parallel between one human being giving his life to save another and Jesus laying down His life to save us. It is one thing to rescue someone from physical death and quite another to save the whole human race from spiritual death. No human being can do that, but Jesus could because He was a sinless offering in the place of sinners.
Jesus’ death was the greatest demonstration of God’s love that He could ever have given. It’s one thing to say, “I love you,” and another to show it by giving the life of the dearest person in all the world to you. And even more powerful is that gift when it is given to rescue those who have spat in your face, waved their fist at you and shouted, “Leave me alone! I hate you and I want nothing to do with you!”
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:10, 11.
Jesus’ death achieved much, much more than just the forgiveness of our sins and a place in heaven when we die. This was just the beginning. We were God’s enemies! Imagine being an enemy of God! What hope do we have against Him when He has all the power, all the resources and all the armies of heaven at His disposal to defeat and destroy us? What chance do we have to escape His righteous anger when we have defied Him and broken His holy law?
God saw our pitiful plight and sent His Son to take our place under His judgment so that He could reconcile us to Himself. Forgiveness…reconciliation…two of the many results of what the Jewish leaders and the Romans did to Jesus that day!
But there is more! We have been forgiven and reconciled while we were still God’s enemies. Paul put it this way: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Jesus.” Ephesians 2:13.
God has changed our status from enemies to sons. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a.
And there’s more! Not only have we been saved from God’s wrath by His death, we have also been saved to a new life by His life. Since Jesus is alive, His life has made it possible for us to live a new kind of life – not the old way of rebellion and disobedience, but a new way of life lived in submission and obedience to our heavenly Father under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.
But why should we? What was wrong with our old way of life? Rebellion against God and disobedience to His way brings the disintegration of our lives, both physical and spiritual, the wasting of our potential and the inevitable result of living worthlessly – the rubbish heap! Jesus saved us from that and set our feet on a path back to restoration – the restoration of what God created us to be, sons and daughters made in His image to live for His glory.
And who would not want to brag on God about that!
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