Some of the very first attacks aimed at the Christian faith came from those who argued that the Christian view of God’s love was just too irrational to believe. Why would a good and holy God even be concerned with sinful persons, much less send His son to die for their benefit. Paul was aware of such criticisms and he understood that the Christian faith was foolishness and folly to many in the Mediterranean world.
In this passage Paul confronts that criticism and embraces it with a dramatic answer. It is true that some might deem it possible that someone would die in the place of a very righteous person. It might also happen that someone would die in the place of a fairly good person. But who would die in the place of sin stained miserable creatures? Such love just doesn’t make sense!
It is true. God’s love is irrational and far beyond what we have ever seen. But for Paul that doesn’t disprove the Christian message. Instead it expresses the very center of our faith. God’s love is beyond all reason.
In his book, The Chamber, John Grisham tells the story of Sam, a hate filled murderer awaiting execution. In a meeting with the prison chaplain Sam confesses his guilt. When the chaplain responds, “God can forgive that”, Sam answers by saying, “I don’t think you heard what I said.” Then Sam launches into another confession mentioning even more horrendous acts of hatred and anger. Again the chaplain responds, “God can forgive that.” Sam replies, “That’s just too good to be true.” It’s not too good to be true; it is in fact the gospel truth.
Prayer: Lord, we are sinners undeserving of your love and grace. We cannot fathom the depths of your love, but we praise your name and thank you that you care for sinners like us.