Death Penalty

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5:8 (NLT)

Think of the most horrible person that you have ever heard of. I’m not talking about that kid that lives down the street, or the person at work that drives you nuts. I’m talking about a person that truly said and did horrible things on this planet. Got a name? When I do this exercise, I often come up with names like Hitler (ordered over six million people killed) or Stalin (who ordered that millions more be executed). It’s a fairly safe argument to say that these people were pretty horrible examples of human beings.

However, the exercise if flawed. It is based on our own definition of the word “horrible.” We generally define horrible as behavior that inflicts some type of harm on someone else – usually on a large scale like Hitler or Stalin.

What about the person that stares us back in the mirror? How horrible are they? According to the scriptures, that person is so bad that they deserve the death penalty. (Romans 6:23) Sure, they may not have killed anyone, or ordered a genocide, but, they are a sinner, a law breaker. In fact, that person’s sins are so great that they negatively affect the entire universe. It’s a very serious matter.

It’s not hard for us to look into the mirror and pick out all of our flaws, physical, mental, and spiritual. We’re good at spotting things we don’t like. We also see the sin that is in us, even the sins that no one else knows about.

In steps Jesus. When He sees us, He doesn’t see our sins. Instead, He sees His child whom He loves with every fiber of His being. He understands we are sinners, but loves us just the same. In fact, His love for us is so strong that He chose to take the death penalty that we all deserve upon His shoulders so that we could be free. And, notice what the verse says, He did this “while we were still sinners.” Never underestimate the love that Jesus has for you and me. He sees us at our worst, and loves us the same as when we are at our best. He died for you and me knowing we are sinners, but loving us still. Praise God for His everlasting love!

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