“He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not…”
So says the young girl while pulling petals off of a daisy. Although it isn’t the definitive way to discover whether someone loves you, many go through such actions to determine whether the love of their beloved is real. Of course there are better ways to determine this!
But what about God’s love for us? Many question how God could love someone like me. After all, we know what we are really like. We know our uncontrolled thoughts and desires as well as what we’ve done. How could God love me? I’m not a lovable person!
It might surprise many that God isn’t looking for perfect people. In fact, Jesus didn’t die for people who were perfect. After all, if we were perfect we wouldn’t need a savior, someone to pay the ransom for us. Notice who Jesus died for.
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6 NET). That gives me some hope! Jesus died for those who were ungodly. That describes me and I’m sure most people can relate to that. But there is more.
“For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die” (Romans 5:7).
So Jesus wasn’t looking for those already righteous or even those who were good. As the apostle pointed out here, most people wouldn’t give their lives for these. (The “righteous person” seems to refer to someone who does just enough to get by while the “good person,” who someone might die for, seems to be someone who is genuinely trying to live right.) These aren’t the people that Paul says that Jesus came to die for.
So, who did Jesus go to the cross to save?
“But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus came to die for those who were still in sin – and that includes me! Jesus died for me! This was God showing us how much he loved us. He loved us enough to allow his own son to take on our sin and pay the price for us. That truly is amazing love!
What makes it more amazing is that this happened before we even cared about God.
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life?” (Romans 5:10).
God did this for us while we were still his enemy, while we cared nothing about him or even living right. The death of Jesus paid the price for our sins and allowed us to once again have a relationship with our heavenly father as one of his children.
Does God, my heavenly father, love me? Let me count the ways…
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory” (Romans 5:1-2).
Readings for next week:
21 March – Romans 11
22 March – Romans 12-13
23 March – Romans 14
24 March – Romans 15
25 March – Romans 16