Romans 5:8 (KJV) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
On this side of salvation, it is easy to think about the work at hand.
We pray for those who are sick. We call various seniors who are confined to their homes or assisted living centers to check on their welfare. We purchase and donate items to social service agencies that provide help for children in difficult straits. We volunteer at shelters and help deliver meals for those who are hungry. We share Bible lessons (albeit in masks) with men and women who are incarcerated.
All of this is God’s work for us to carry out here on Earth. Matthew 25:35-36 “For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”
Yet, as commendable as these acts of love are, they were made possible by the ultimate sacrifice. Over two thousand and twenty-one years ago, the sins and shame of the world were borne on the shoulders of someone who never should have had to be near them.
Twelve years ago, Jesus redeemed my life from an addiction to lust that began at age 14. Others, God saved from lying, sexual promiscuity, prejudice, murder, pride, selfishness, jealousy, etc.
The irony of ironies is that every man and woman living deserved the cross that Jesus carried due to personal unrighteousness — and yet because of this unrighteousness no one was qualified to carry the cross but Christ.
The reality of Jesus’ sacrifice for you and me should be the conviction for the work we do here on Earth. We can (and should) help out our fellow woman and man by teaching budgeting classes, making phone calls and delivering meals.
Yet, these charitable acts are possible only because Christ endured a brutal beating, unimaginable torture, vicious lies, heart wrenching betrayal and ultimately being forsaken by God the Father before rising from the dead to redeem all humanity. He was the only person qualified and capable of fulfilling this work.
More than two millennia later, I am so glad He did.
Andrae P. Crismon Sr. is the pastor of Higher Ground Worship Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is the author of Lord, Keep My Mind Clean: A 31 Day Devotional & Accountability Journal, Lord, Keep My Mind Clean: Teen Edition (Spring 2021) and Pastor on Post: 30 Devotionals As Published in the Murfreesboro Post. More information about Pastor Drae can be found at andraecrismon.org