The Love of God. It’s a complicated thing. Every generation tries to understand love, fall in love, and explain love. People have gone to extremes to display their love for others, and thousands of years ago God did just that for each one of us.
In Romans 5:8, Paul tells us God demonstrated His love for us this way: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Out of the abundance of God’s great love for us He sent His only Son to pay the debt for our sins, even though we were all His enemies, powerless and ungodly. God’s display of love was not conditional.
It was not based on anything we had done or could ever do for Him. God knew that without His timely intervention we would be forever separated from Him.
Jesus’ obedience displayed grace in an amazing way. Jesus poured out His life for the forgiveness of our sins so we could be reconciled with God. Each of us, through faith, can have the opportunity to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and experience peace with God, hope in every situation, and eternal life.
Having a relationship with Jesus doesn’t mean life is always easy. Rather, it provides us with the ability to face anything that comes our way. We can have hope in all situations, confident of God’s grace, His faithfulness, and His 100% willingness to do whatever it takes to fully restore our relationship with Him.
Romans 5:6-8 Amplified Bible
6 While we were still helpless [powerless to provide for our salvation], at the right time Christ died [as a substitute] for the ungodly. 7 Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to willingly give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a good man [one who is noble and selfless and worthy] someone might even dare to die. 8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
The Apostle Paul tells us here in Romans 5:8 that God has shown us his love in the death of Christ. The One who created the heavens and the earth, the One who rules overall, the One who is in the heavens and does whatever he pleases—this One has shown his love to us in the death of his only Son. John 3:16 rings gracefully in our ears, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”
This verse explains what Jesus said in John 15:13 when he told his disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
What Jesus says in John 15 he accomplishes at the cross in John 19 and Paul explains it to us here in Romans 5:8. This is the single most important story the world has ever known. The scale of this sacrifice is still being weighed today.
In fact, for all eternity we will see that the cost and the prize do not seem to balance, but there is glory in this gospel that fills up the throne room of heaven and shoots joy down to our hearts like lightening. This is a surprising gospel.
Romans 5:8 explains this surprising gospel by revealing how God shows his love to us in a surprising way, to a surprising people, and at surprising cost.
God shows his love in a surprising way.
I want us to linger here for quite a few minutes. Let this sink in, because this is abundantly and completely glorious. God shows. God is not a quiet, reserved, no-big-deal king. He’s not afraid to shake the world. He’s ambitious and he’s bold, he loves radically. The very expanse of heaven declares the glory of God.
Why else do stars exist? Why are sunsets as beautiful as they are? What purpose do they serve outside of lighting your heart on fire? God puts on display his love.
These two words, “God shows”, speak to both camps of people, those who think they are too good, those who believe they are too unworthy for the love of God.
From every which direction of our circumstances, we are confronted here with what God does. He shows. He is a relentless lover. He is always inviting us, not just so that we will agree on a limited intellectual level that we are loved, but also beckoning all of us to feel deep in our hearts we are both invited and loved.
It’s as if he is speaking to each one of us from the depths of eternity, “Look. I know some of you think you don’t need me. Some of you think you can’t have any part of me. What made you doubt my love?” “What can I do to change your mind?”
Do we realize the surprising ways in which God loves each and everyone of us?
He doesn’t stop with mere words we may never read or study, he does not stop with parting seas, he doesn’t stop at pillars of fire, or clouds of glory, he doesn’t stop with breaking down walls at the sounds of hundreds of great trumpets, he doesn’t stop with voices from heaven or angels standing before us. He doesn’t stop with a promise we’re just as likely as not to completely, abundantly ignore.
He doesn’t stop with a great or lesser earthly king. He doesn’t stop with one nation, mighty or weak. He doesn’t stop with only one people group. He doesn’t stop with “just good enough”. He doesn’t stop with perfect teaching or with amazing miracles. No, he stops with the death of the Son on the cross. God the Father loves so intensely that he could not give anything less than the absolute best that he had to offer himself in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son.
God shows his love to us in a multitude of ways but the supreme way he shows his love to us is in the death of Christ for us. What greater love is there?
We, in all our sin and all our messiness – WE – were loved enough by God that he would die for you. He did not just tell us that. He showed it two thousand years ago at 3:00 in the afternoon on a hill called Calvary outside of Jerusalem.
And, even more surprising, he yet, he still shows his love in the death of Christ.
These words are in the present active tense. God, today, now in this moment, is showing us the love, he has for us through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ.
What we see right here in our Bibles – this black text on a white page – is lifting Jesus up before us right now so that we can see with the eyes of our heart the very love of God for us. Do you see it? Oh, I pray you do! Father, open our eyes!
Now, in this exact and exacting moment, that’s the kind of Gospel love we need, the kind of surprise we each need, that’s the unrelenting kind of love God has.
Is not that even 0.01% surprising to you?
Today, surprise yourself and surprise a friend or two or three and Reflect:
- Have you ever seriously asked Jesus into your life? If so, take some time to thank God for His grace. If not, please surprise God, learn more about His salvation.
- How can you surprise someone – show grace to someone today?
- Do you have hope God can get you through any situation? Why or why not?
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
God, from the beginning, you were the word. You sent your only son to save us all and he even allowed himself to be tortured and crucified to obey you. Bless me with the gift of understanding and of unshaken faith in you. Let me know the meaning of your words in the Bible and how to live accordingly. Open the door of my heart, fill me with your light and understanding. Alleluia! Amen.
Another Part Tomorrow …… Struggling with the Surprise