Who would you die for?
Paul made me ask myself that question this morning. With a wife and kids at home, whose life would I count worth the sacrifice of my own? If I gave my life for a stranger, even a truly good person who seemed “worthy,” who would provide for my family and raise my kids?
I would only die for someone whom I truly, deeply loved.
Paul says that while we were still weak (that is, under the law, and without the Spirit’s indwelling power and love), Christ died for us — the ungodly. “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though for a good person, one would dare even to die [I wouldn’t]–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
Jesus Christ died a gruesome, horrible death for you. What was his motivation? If I were to die for a good person, my motivation would certainly be some sort of pseudo-nobility and selfish hope for fame and honor. The deep-down, driving factor for Jesus, his motivation for suffering the cruelest death in history, was love. Not some abstract pie-in-the-sky love, but a concrete, emotional, dynamic love for you.
Like Abraham, he knew that the God who decreed the sacrifice of the beloved Son is the one with the power to raise the dead. As the founder and perfecter of our faith, Christ cast all his weight on the Father for the joy set before him–you. Me.
To what end? If he has died for me and justified me by his blood, have I only to look forward to my death so that I can be raised and live with him? Certainly that, but there is an abiding hope in this life, on the soil of this planet, right here and now. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Peace with God. What ailment afflicts us that would not be soothed by the balm of peace with God? In the surging seas of this life, my heart wants nothing more than a sure and steadfast anchor. Nothing more than a strong refuge, so that as the earth crumbles around me and the mountains tremble, I can actually find rest.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
Morning has dawned on our hearts, and the light of the world, though a smoldering flax he would not quench, was quenched by the darkness so that we might become the light of the world. Christ by his death and ascension poured his love into our hearts, through the Holy Spirit, so that we might have peace with God right now. We drink from the river of his delights, and are made glad.
What storms of the soul are troubling you that peace with God would not calm? What darkness is overwhelming you that the light of the glory of God would not chase out? What thirst do you have that the river of the city of God would not sate?
My heart needed this today. I pray yours did too.