For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.Romans 5:7(NASB)
There is no greater demonstration of perfect love than that which was shown in the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it was while we were still ungodly and unrighteous sinners who were dead in trespasses and hostile towards God, that Christ died for us. And the efficacious nature of that sacrificial love-gift is as potent today as it was when Christ shouted out in triumph, "It is finished."
The substantial evidence of such love is unsurpassed. It is without comparison and beyond the comprehension of mortal man's mind. And this passage is one that seeks to give a tiny glimpse into the magnitude of what it means that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son to die in our place and take the punishment for sin that we justly deserve.
Paul in this passage contrasts this amazing, divine love that staggers the imagination with the very best of human love, for he rightly points out that "a person would hardly die for a righteous man; although there is the possibility that one would dare to die for the good man." He suggests that it is hardly likely that a man would be prepared to die for some righteous, religious hypocrite, for we all know that there is no one who is righteous, not even one! And although he adds that it is possible that someone might be prepared to die for someone whom they love or admire, very few would be prepared to give their own precious life - even for the sake of a really good person.
Nonetheless, the thought of willingly offering up ones own precious life and being prepared to die for someone who holds us in utter contempt, would spit venom on our faces, hates us with satanic hatred, accuses us with demonic rage, and beats our body to a bloody pulp, is beyond the reason of the human mind and incapable of being rationalised - it is unthinkable.
Indeed, the love discussed in this verse is a 'man-to-man' love and can't even approach the love that was demonstrated by God towards us. If, as Christ reminds us, there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend, the love that is demonstrated by God is beyond human understanding. Human love requires some motivation for one to willingly give up their life for another - but God's love is so much greater - and this demonstration of the love of God on the Cross continues to be a pulsating reality today.
And yet that is what happened, for our amazing and glorious God demonstrates His own love toward each one of us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The love of God towards you and me is a supernatural love, for His love not only embraced us when we were weak, helpless, and hopeless, but also when we were neither righteous nor good. God did not wait for us to become reformed characters before demonstrating His love to us, but died for us when we were fallen sinners and at enmity with Himself. He not only died as our substitute by receiving the punishment we justly deserve, but He also died TO sin on behalf of us - to set us free from sin's sovereignty over us. He not only paid the price for our sins, but he broke the power of sin in the life of all who trust in Him for salvation. In the light of God's unsurpassed and glorious love, does it not demand utter devotion to the Lord - our life and our all?
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your amazing love for us, which can never be demonstrated in the human realm. I remain amazed at Your love for me, and thank You that Christ died for me when I was still a sinner and has raised me into newness of life, in Him. In Jesus' name, AMEN.