"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly...But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5: 6-11
It had to be this way. When Jesus died, none of his closest friends hung around. If they had, perhaps they could have claimed, "Well, he sacrificed his life for me because I was always there for him." No, we've all sinned and fallen short of the grace he demonstrated. At just the right time, when we were powerless, without a leg to stand on, all the glory, credit, praise, thanks and attention is focused on Jesus' love for the Father and for us.
Paul goes on to say, "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" I looked up the word "reconcile" in the dictionary and smiled when I read, "to make friendly again." Jesus' death, while I was blackened by sin, made me friends with God. So, Paul is right to be excited about the abundance of joy that follows.
The gift-giving didn't stop on Good Friday. No, God was only getting started. On Easter, our friendship really begins to blossom as I serve a risen Savior.
I've been told that we are friends. Friendship is usually a two-way street, but you desired a relationship with me while I was still your enemy. Dead in my sin and stinking like the devil, you were still fond of me. I'll never understand why, but may I reciprocate with all the love I have. Thanks to Jesus' death on the cross, we are able to be allies, on the same side of the struggle - a struggle I could never hope to win alone, but by your power, I am saved. Hellfire may have singed my coattails, but the pierced hands of Jesus grabbed me just in time. Thank you! I love you!