An illustration showing Jesus and the two criminals hanging from their crosses.

Romans’ Connection Between God Commending His Love Toward Us and Christ Dying for Us

To those who are not Christians, it can seem that those who follow Christ are obsessed with His death. I don’t deny that. The same can be said for His resurrection. One reason is because the Bible mentions them extremely often. For example, in Romans chapter five the apostle Paul refers to it three times in less than ten verses. In it, he connects God’s love for us with Jesus’ death. The text in question reads, 

But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Although this verse seems to be rather straightforward, it actually shares a number of key truths about the Christian faith. The first phrase teaches that God commends His love toward us. However, there is more nuance than that. He is manifesting His own love despite ourselves. This is highlighted by the little word “but.” With it beginning the sentence, it prompts us to look at what came before it. In the verse prior, Paul says in part, “Yet perhaps for a good person someone would even dare to die.”

Dying for someone is admirable, and especially honorable when one does so for a person who did what was right. However, we were not like that at all. Looking at the next clause, we learn that the Father’s love was demonstrated when we were sinners. His love for us is not because we are good, far from it! 

Despite our wickedness, God proves His own love toward us in His Son dying for us. This is awesome because the One we sin against is the very same deity Who shows His love for us! I say it this way because the love we find here seems to be a reference to the Father’s love. In addition to stressing that, this verse is also helpful in showing that God the Father and Jesus are distinct from each other. Although they are all One, they are sometimes spoken of in different ways at the same time. This text is but one of many examples.

Returning back to the topic of love, it’s incredible that even after we trespass His commands He still loves us! However, do we really appreciate that fact? Perhaps an admittedly tragic illustration will help us in that regard. Since I almost don’t want to say it, I’ll just ask a question. if someone kills a child, what would be the parents’ response?

If it’s anything, it surely wouldn’t be love!

Yet if we continue to the end of our text, we see the words, “Christ died for us.”

Restating the verse another way, God the Father proves His own love for us through the death of His Son that was done even though we were yet sinners! While some would die for a good person, Jesus died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6)! That is amazing!

I wish I could convey God’s love for us in a way that more people would get it. I find it so profound that it is hard to comprehend. I mean, it even appears to be unjust sometimes. Despite this, the Lord’s death was part of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind from the beginning of the world (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Pet. 1:17-21). That is just plain awesome.

May we reflect on that, and recognize Jesus’ perfect sacrifice as a demonstration of the Father’s love for us!

Image Used

Jesus and the Two Criminals Dying on Crosses by Ambroz from Pixabay.