Friday, March 25, 2005

The Ethic of Good Friday

Romans 5:6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Considering the cross of Jesus we can see who He loved, how He loved and How this love is applied to us.
Who did Jesus Love?
Jesus died for the "helpless", the "ungodly", the impious, for "sinners", for "His enemies". Jesus died for me when I was weak and sick and unable to help myself. He died for me when I was even un-willing to help myself, unable to see my ignorance and my rebellion. He loved me and sought my good when I was dead wrong in my confession and dead wrong in my thinking. Maybe today I still am? Maybe today many people whom Jesus still loves are dead wrong in their confession and dead wrong in their thinking. These are the one's Jesus was thinking of when He died. Not the righteous. Not the good. Not the right thinkers but the wrong thinkers. Not the soldiers for the kingdom but the lost. Of whom I was and often still am the chief. These are the one's Jesus died for and I am fortunate. If He had died for any others, if He had instead died for the good and the right and the Godly, I would forever live in doubt and finally my confession would be that He did not die for me. BUT He did die for me for Christ died for the unjust and the ungodly and the deny-ers and the forsakers.

How did Jesus express this love for the un-godly?
He expressed it by giving everything He had. Jesus exercised every means necessary to reconcile us to God. Jesus gave His last breath. He became poor. He suffered and died to give us spiritual well-being. Jesus saw a life and that life was mine. That life was as good as dead and did not want life. That life which was mine He saw as worthy of nurture and grace and He is His duty out of love. Jesus loved His enemies with every bit of life He had. He spent every resource on my behalf. I was the sick. I was the helpless. I was the dying. I was the fool. I was in that crowd. I have been there many times. I didn’t make the good confession in the heat of the moment. I was lost and He saw me and loved me and spent every last bit of his resources to nurture me back to life. The cross is the ethic of the love of God.

The ethic: Love is the exercise of all means available to nurture life into flourishing. Where ever I see life I am under the duty and obligation to exercise every means necessary in the power of God to nurture that life. If it is my children, I nurture that life to flourishing. If it is the poor, I give a cup of cold water. We are to travel the world nurturing life by giving of ourselves the concrete blood, sweat and tears of love. Platitudes and slogans are not love. Love is painful and difficult and sacrificial. And it loves without partiality. Love loves without regard to nationality.

How does this love apply to me?
This love of Christ means that Jesus having demonstrated the type of love for us will now much more exercise every means necessary to nurture me to life. He will always stand to bring me forgiveness and will always bear my iniquities.

The Much More Principle
Having shown His love and acted in love for me when I was His enemy without faith, how much more will He continue to nurture me until my soul prospers and is aware of all His goodness.
I stand before God with nothing but a confession of my faith and this is more than I had when He died for me. So we stand and we pray with confidence and with knowledge of His love for the knowledge of His love has been poured out in our hearts through the Gospel.

May your day be filled with this knowledge of His love,
God Bless,

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