I wonder if when you read the Bible you find yourself looking for clear do’s and don’ts, or maybe you look for the plain sense of what something says and take that at face value? I have often found that people may easily find such verses and phrases; yet, simultaneously people may miss the proverbial forest for the trees. Let me give an example from the Epistle reading for the upcoming second Sunday of Lent.
In Romans 5: 6-8, St. Paul writes, “For while were were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person— though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”
I think it would be easy to read those verses and see that people were sinful and God through Jesus is sacrificially forgiving. Or perhaps you could draw the conclusion that people were bad, but God in his goodness wanted to do something about that anyway and so he did. This is true, of course, at plainly surface level. But do you see how that interpretation shapes a certain value perspective of bad and good?
I think St. Paul wants to affirm something else; namely, that God values people greatly! He values people so much that only the highest possible price that could be paid must have been paid to ransom people from the debt of their sins. That highest price is God himself in the flesh of Jesus. Any other price paid would be too low and insufficient.
What is your value to God? The answer is the value equals the life of Jesus. He values you enough to pay for your sins with his life so you may be forgiven and freed from your debt. Perhaps you were not righteous or good, as the verse cites, but God wants you as his child nonetheless, and he has paid the highest possible price to save his children.
Grace & Peace,