January 25th, 2023 – Early Wednesday Afternoon
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” ~Romans 5:6-11
In our last devotional we explored the section of John 3 that spoke of Moses and the serpent and that incident’s relation to Christ and the cross. In that discussion, we were reminded of how undeserving of mercy the Israelites (and we ourselves) really were, yet how God intervened and provided the remedy in both accounts. Here we see something similar in this passage about the love of God – though it is much more specifically described and prescribed for us personally.
Paul, in writing to the Roman church, lumps everyone together: “While WE were still helpless”…”while WE were yet sinners”…and so on throughout the chapter. The reality, of course, is that no one deserves mercy or grace; no one deserves life. Paul’s example of where someone might take the place of a righteous person has no bearing on us whatsoever; we are all condemned. This is why we are described as “helpless”; we, as sinners, really and truly are hopelessly without a leg to stand on. And yet, that is what makes the love and mercy of God SO overwhelming and rich; Christ, God’s perfect and only Son, died in our place on our behalf.
Yes, yes, you might say, this isn’t new news. Of course it isn’t new, but it doesn’t stop there either. The depth of God’s love and desire are further seen in how it isn’t just that our sins are covered by Jesus’ blood, and it isn’t just that we can also look forward to being saved from the future wrath of God through Jesus, but – in addition to both of those things – we have been reconciled to God through Christ’s death and we shall be saved through Christ’s life. The sin is covered and gone, the wrath will be withheld, and the relationship is restored and alive!
Paul goes on to say “And not only this, but we also exult (rejoice) in God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” God’s love for us is complete – the whole package – and it is a cause for great rejoicing! No longer do we need to live a life of shame, regret, and trepidation; no more do we need to cower for fear of retribution; rather, we can run to our Father and rejoice that He loves us and has provided what was necessary for us to know Him and love Him – now and forever and ever!
My beloved friends, God’s love for you is rich and sweet. He has forever demonstrated that love through the cross of His own Son, Jesus Christ, and He loves you and I in full measure. Let us grow in His love and rejoice in Him forever – through the nitty-gritty of the mundane and the grandiose, and in the glorious hope of eternity!
Thank You, Father, for Your great love!