August 9

Romans 5:6-8 6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Without Jesus we are all destined for the wrath of God. Most people do not realize the desperate condition man is in when he is without Jesus. "The soul that sins shall die" not just a physical death, but a second-death of judgment also. Rebellion of the creature against his holy and perfect Creator demands nothing less than eternal punishment. That was the justice waiting for us, and there was nothing we could do about it. Only one person could help, and He did.

Why should He have died for us? He is the Creator and we are the rebellious creation. If He were anything like us, He wouldn't even have considered it. We might consider sacrificing our lives for a very good man. It's not likely, but we might. But for a derelict that constantly rebuffed our kindness, mocked our concern, and doubted our intentions after abundant generosity on our part, we'd probably be glad to see him get his just deserts. Isn't that what makes a great movie conclusion, when the bad guy gets what is coming to him? Thank God, Jesus isn't like us.

God made a public demonstration of His love for us with the cross. When man was at his worst, torturing and murdering the very One who gave him life, He was showing the extent of His love for them. The contrast is so extreme! The hatred and selfishness we each have was manifested in those people, and yet He willingly laid down His life for them, for us. That is love that goes beyond what we can imagine possible in the very best man, and yet it was seen in the man Christ Jesus. That love was demonstrated for us to have life. It was demonstrated so that we would know we can turn to Jesus no matter how bad we have been. It was demonstrated to assure our hearts of the depths of the love and grace that God has for us.

Consider: How will you respond to such love?