Romans 5:6-8 The Message
6-8 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
As a mother, I can’t imagine sacrificing either one of my daughters for anyone. Sometimes I wonder what kind of a God we worship, who would willingly sacrifice his son, allowing him to suffer and die in such a horrific way. And then I think of Jesus as a man, no longer a child, and part Divine, and I cannot blame God for the sacrifice, because Jesus willingly went to the cross. Yes, Jesus prayed to his father at Gethsemane, using the familiar “Abba” and asking God to “remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” [Mark 14:36]
Jesus was not powerless to say no, but he left the final decision up to God, and was willing to suffer for the greater good. Jesus trusted His Father to do the right thing. And we need to trust God that He will do the right thing for us too.
In Romans 5:6-8, The Message translation explains Jesus’ sacrifice for the sake of humanity. We couldn’t save ourselves. We were stuck, and weak, and rebellious. Jesus came to the rescue, through God’s ultimate plan to save us all with one sacrificial act. I like this translation that reads, “God put his love on the line for us” even though we didn’t deserve it. That’s true sacrifice and true love.
Prayer: Abba, Father, and Jesus, Christ, we may not fully understand why Jesus had to suffer and die on the cross, but we know that you always have the best intentions for your children. Whether we are worthy or not, you never give up on us, and are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to save us. Thank you for your steadfast love and for your Holy Spirit that is alive in the world and in your people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.