Radical Love

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    Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:7-8

    Many things in life are considered costly or even sacrificial, but none is more costly than death. In death we give up everything this present life has given us – health, family and friends, our future, everything. So, voluntarily giving up your life so another person can live is considered the ultimate sacrifice – the absolute highest price that can be paid.

    Just how costly was Christ’s death for us? How big of a price was paid so that you and I could have the opportunity to live in eternity with God? Consider Paul’s statement above. Possibly (but “very rarely”) someone might die for a “righteous” man, and slightly more possibly someone might be willing to die for a “good” man (someone who is righteous but also shows kindness, compassion, etc.). Dying for either kind of person is considered quite rare. In modern day equivalents, we might say that we would be willing to die for our spouse or children, or another family member or loved one if their life were in imminent danger.

    But who did Jesus Christ die for? For whom was it that He willingly submitted to the agony and torture of the cross? Sinners! (literally “those who are devoted to sin” or “pre-eminently sinful”). These were people who were neither good nor righteous; people who stood in direct opposition to God or could be considered “enemies of God”. Think about this for a moment. Christ died for His enemies! This would be like laying down your life for the most despised, hated kind of person you can think of. People that despise God and whom no one wants to love. Yet Jesus loved them enough to die for them. (Sadly, as sinners each of us were also God’s enemy at one time.)

    What Paul is trying to say is that what a normal person might only do in the rarest of circumstances, God did in the most extreme, complete and amazing way. This is the kind of radical, powerful love that God has for people. He died for us when we were at our worst, standing in direct opposition to Him.

    Should we love others the way Christ does? How can we demonstrate God’s radical love to someone today?

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