As I prepared to write this week’s commentary, it was not lost on me that it would publish on Good Friday. I pray that I do some honor to this day for my Lord.
Romans 5:7 (NKJV) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
As I think on what it was that God did for us through His sacrifice of His only begotten Son, I am humbled. I’m drawn to a passage in Romans chapter 5 beginning with verse 7. I think about all the instances in my life, past and present, in which I have withheld forgiveness, grace. How much bitterness do I hold to for a slight, real or perceived? I imagine, there is likely not one of you reading, that could not ask him/herself the same and answer zero. I would like to think that I would, should the occasion arise, be willing to lay down my life in sacrifice for another. Yet, I read this verse and am ashamed. Under a load of conviction, I realize that I cannot even bring myself to forgive some for even minor offenses. I hold grudges, to varying degrees, but hold them all the same. If my heart is unwilling to let go and forgive another, why should I believe myself capable of laying down my life for another? Why should I believe that I would be capable of the service to others God would see me perform? What kind of example am I projecting for my Savior?
We’ve all done it, justify to ourselves and others the validity of our withholding. “If he hadn’t done… if she would have just…why should I…when it was them that…” As we prepare to celebrate Good Friday and gaze upon the bloodstained cross, ask yourself, did Jesus withhold? Did Jesus justify to Himself, others and God why He shouldn’t have to go? He could have. In fact, He’s the only Man in the history of the world who had that right. Yet… He didn’t.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He went. He chose to pay the price, sacrifice Himself, though we did not deserve His grace and were “unworthy” of His love. He asked nothing of us. He chose not to wait for us to rectify the situation, clean up our act and prove our worthiness. He loved us, and He went. He went for all of us, despite the pain and offenses we riddle Him with, He went.
Romans 5:9-11 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when 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. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Read through those verses again, please. Jesus went to the cross for us, the undeserving, the enemy, for love. Will you go? For love? Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,