Collect for Wednesday:
Merciful and everlasting God, You did not spare Your only begotten Son but delivered Him up for us all to bear our sins on the cross. Grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we fear not the power of sin, death, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.
Read Romans 5:6-11
What are you willing to die for?
If you are in the military, then you have taken an oath that you are willing to die for your country, and that is very honorable. Secret Service Agents are willing to die as opposed to anything happening to the one they have been charged to protect. Nearly every parent is willing to sacrifice their own life on behalf of a spouse or child.
But what about a stranger, someone you have never met before in your entire life, would you die for them? How about someone you do not like, perhaps a neighbor, would you die for them? Or how about someone who is an enemy of the country, would you die for them?
It is natural to say we would die for someone we love, or for our country or as part of our job, but to die for an enemy, or a stranger, or someone we did not even like? That is almost impossible to even consider.
Ultimately, the question is based on how much the life of the other person is worth to you: if it is someone you love, then that life is going to have a very high value on it; if it is someone you cannot stand the sight of, then you are going to put very little value of that life.
But what about your own life? What is it worth? Who would give themselves up to save you?
Our lives are really not worth that much. We have fallen woefully short of meeting the expectations of others. We are not the perfect spouse, or child, or sibling, or neighbor, or citizen. We get into arguments, we grumble, we lie to protect our own interests, we grumble about doing things that are expected of us.
And not only have we fallen short of the expectations of others, we have also fallen short of the expectations of God. We are not perfect as He has commanded. We do not pray as we ought, or listen as we should, or serve as we could. We have rejected God far more often than we have confessed Him.
Surely of all people, God would not send anyone to die on our behalf.
And yet He does. God the Father, so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son into the world, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Christ died for the ungodly, the sinners, those unworthy of being spared the punishment of their sins; us.
This Holy Week, we remember that Christ willingly came into the world to die for those who are not worthy of having their lives spared. Christ died for us. That is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us: Christ died for us.