Have you ever given up something important to you to help someone you love? Perhaps you gave your money or your time; perhaps you gave up comfort or a possession you really loved. It is amazing the lengths that we will go to in order to help a loved one. In fact, a few years ago over 70 000 people were surveyed for the book, The Normal Bar. Survey participants were asked, “Have you given up an important part of yourself to keep your relationship together?” Of those married for 21 years or longer, 49% affirmed they had made that selfless sacrifice. The fact of the matter is, we make sacrifices for those we love!
However, would you make a sacrifice for someone you love if they did not love you in return? For most people, there would be a limit to what they would give up for someone who hated them, but God gave up his very own Son for us when we did not deserve it one bit! The Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Rome: “While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…”! That’s pretty amazing!
When I consider my own son and under what circumstances I would be willing to let him be tortured and killed… I draw a blank. There really isn’t a situation in which I can imagine willingly putting my son in harm’s way. But God loves you (yes, you!) so much that he “sent his only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life”. That really is quite amazing.
Next time you think there is no hope or that you don’t matter or that you are not loved, remember that God has already shown how much he loves you in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus died to pay the price for your rejection of God and to pave the way for you to be reconciled to God through your belief in his name. There is no greater love than that, and there is no greater hope than the life we find in Jesus Christ.
What’s more, while Jesus’ death allowed for us to have a relationship with God, his resurrection brings us the assurance of that eternal life. Let me finish Paul’s statement to the church in Rome: “For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life” (Romans 5:10)! Will you accept the life that can only be found through Jesus Christ? You can find out more by connecting with one of your local churches on a Sunday morning.
This article by Pastor Stephen was first published in the Pincher Creek Echo, October 2017.