“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What love. What great, powerful love. To choose to die, so that your enemy can live forever.
Jesus did not die for the righteous. For those who have it all together. For those who are worthy. For those who hit the mark of “good enough.” He died for sinners. While we were still sinning. While we were in the midst of rebellion against His commands, treating His Word lightly, ignoring the glory of the living God, He died for us. He endured the wrath of God so that we would only know His forgiveness and the riches of His grace.
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name…And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself”
John 12:27-28a, 32
“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’…And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground”
Jesus could have saved Himself. But He chose to lay down His life for us instead. “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them” (Colossian 2:13-15). This is the power of Jesus’s cross. Through it, every record of debt has been cancelled. Entirely set aside and nailed to the cross. Jesus paid it. It’s done. As He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
The rulers and authorities, all who would try to hold you to that account, were completely disarmed in that moment. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Romans 8:33-34).
Even the worst of sinners, if he has trusted in Christ, can now declare that nothing can or ever will separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus his Lord. No condemnation can touch him. No temptation can bind him. He does not have to live in the shadow of the shame of his past, because his God has redeemed him forever and His glory now shines through the life of this child whom God greatly loves.