Only Love – Romans 5:8

“God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

Today’s devotion in Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening, focused on the scourging that carved lacerations on Jesus’ back, contained this quote that stirred my heart: “Sinners have bound the Almighty’s hands, and spit in their Creator’s face.”

A strong, powerful statement. Emphasizing that to save us required great sacrifice. That my sin required the high, unfathomable cost of the blood and very life of the Son of God.

Yet the Almighty is not seen begrudgingly putting salvation in place for humanity.

He does not pour on additional feelings of guilt.

He is not angrily sacrificing Himself.

No, in His sacrifice, we only see love.

Love, compassion, and outright determination.

When Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51), He was setting it firmly in place like a flint (Isaiah 50:7), determined to fulfill the purpose for which He came: to save us through the sacrifice of Himself. “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).

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, not in frustration, but in love and welcome (Luke 19:10). He came to heal the spiritually sick, to awaken them from death, in compassion and overwhelming grace (Luke 5:31).

When Jesus rose from the grave, He was satisfied to see us counted righteous and our iniquities removed (Isaiah 53:11). We, who were among the sinners who spat in our Creator’s face, as the devotion quoted this morning.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

“In this the love of God was made manifest in us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [turning wrath to favor] for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

“See, what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are.” 1 John 3:1a

What great love is this.

Had we not sinned, Jesus would not have had to die.

Yet God does not hang this over our heads – He beckons us to come and take refuge in Him.

Out of pure, perfect love He sent His Son as the Lamb to take our place, and He offers us salvation if we will trust in Him and return – return to the God of glory, the God of hope, the God of our salvation.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
John 3:14-17

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