But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8
I was a young pastor, and it was a bitter cold winter afternoon. Snow and ice covered the windswept cemetery as I stood with a young couple at the open grave of their newborn baby. We wept and prayed, I read Scripture, I said a few words of comfort, and we left. I went home that evening and could not get that brokenhearted mother and father out of my mind. They went home that same evening and began to put away the baby crib in which that little package of love had slept for the past several weeks. On impulse, I went into our firstborn daughter’s room, picked her up, and sat down in the den. I wondered how I would have felt had I been that other young dad who sat in his home a few blocks away. What if God had taken my child? After all, she was just a few days old and, at the time, didn’t know me anymore than she knew the man next door. I came to the conclusion that what would have bothered me most was that she would never have known, in this life, just how much her father loved her and was willing to give himself for her.
And that is the tragic thing about living a life without Christ. Those who do not know Christ can never know how much the Father loves them. Our God demonstrated His love when we were least deserving. He did something: He gave us His only Son who “died for us.” No wonder the Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The Proof of God’s Love
God proved His love toward us. How? It was not by writing His love in flaming letters across the sky nor by belting His strong voice from heaven expressing His love. The Bible says, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). Jesus was not some sort of remedial action, a last-minute splint for a broken world when everything else had failed. The preparation God had done was staggering. He had raised up a Greek nation that took the Greek language across the known world so the gospel could spread without a language barrier. He raised up a Roman empire that built a road system of fifty thousand miles across the world so the gospel could move from country to country. Yes, it was in the “fullness of time” that Christ came (Galatians 4:4).
Each of us longs to be loved. And God loves us so much that He demonstrated “His own love toward us”: He sent His Son.
No one on the earth has DNA like yours. No one has a thumbprint just like yours. You are an individual, loved by the Lord. And the love you can voluntarily return to Him is indescribably valuable to Him.
The Phenomenon of God’s Love
The phenomenal thing about the love of God is that He expressed it to us not when we were perfect or deserving. He loved us “while we were still sinners.” In fact, “scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7–8, emphasis added). Those two little words but God make all the difference.
Jesus came and clothed Himself in human flesh. He came to where we are so that one day we could go to where He is. In other words, He came to earth so we could go to heaven. He was forsaken so that we might never be forsaken. As someone said, “The Son of God became the Son of Man in order that the sons of men could become the sons of God.”
The Price of God’s Love
“Christ died for us.” Let those words sink in for just a moment. He died your death so you could live His life. He took your sin so you could take His righteousness. “For God so loved the world that He gave . . .” (John 3:16). For thirty-three years, He gave. We must have embraced and loved Him for it. But did we love Him? We hated Him. We spit in His face. We beat Him with a leather strap until His back was a bloody pulp. We stripped Him naked and mocked Him. We put a scarlet robe on Him and smashed a crown of thorns on His brow. And then we laughed . . . and laughed . . . and laughed. Then we plucked His beard out with our hands (Isaiah 50:6); then laughed some more. Finally, we took His hands—those same hands that once had calmed storms, stroked children’s heads, multiplied the loaves and fishes, formed the spittle for the blind man’s eyes, and clasped themselves in prayer in the garden—and we nailed them fast to a cross. Then we took those same feet that had run errands of mercy for so many, that had walked on the sea, and we nailed them to a cross.
The price Jesus paid to “demonstrate” His love was great. Every lash of the whip, every sound of the hammer, was the voice of God saying, “I love sinners.”
As I held my little daughter tightly that night, I thought, I’d give the world to her if I could. Then it occurred to me that God had said just the opposite. He had said, “I’ll give My Son to the world.” It isn’t any wonder the songwriter of old said, “Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan. Oh, the grace that brought it down to man. Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span . . . at Calvary.”
Meditate on “the breadth and length and height and depth” of God’s love for you personally (Ephesians 3:18). No one else has your DNA. You are an individual, indescribably loved by God. Let Him love you today.
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How about you? We know that Christ died for our sins. But, have you considered that He paid at Calvary for you personally, individually? What does that kind of love mean to you? We would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments on our blog. ~Devotionals Daily