“Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” - Romans 5:7-8
Can you imagine dying for someone? Your best friend? Maybe. A random person on the street? Maybeeee. How about your worst enemy? Probably not.
And yet that is exactly what Christ did for us. Romans 5 makes it clear that while we might be able to “understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and […] understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice” (Message), what Jesus chose to do on the cross far surpasses any goodness we could ever muster in ourselves.
Jesus was persecuted, ridiculed, and condemned to death and let it happen because of His great love for us. Read any of the crucifixion accounts in the four Gospels and you can see how terribly people treated Jesus leading up to His death. And while I often read those passages and think I’d never be like that, Jesus, the truth is that all of our hearts are sinful and far from God until we choose to accept and follow Christ.
This is what makes the Gospel so beautiful to me: that God loved you and me so much that He sent His son Jesus to stand in the gap for our sins while we were still sinning. I love the way The Message says this line as “God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” He doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up before coming to Him, but instead comes straight to us, offering us love, forgiveness, and redemption. We can throw off our perfectionism, put down all pretense of having it together, and run messy into the arms of a Father who loves us.
That is good news to hold onto today. Whatever you’re carrying or going through, receive the great love of the Father who came to rescue you, just as you are, sinfulness and all.