“I heard it said, “God didn’t die for frogs. So he was responding to our value as humans.” This turns grace on its head. We are worse off than frogs. They have not sinned. They have not rebelled and treated God with the contempt of being inconsequential in their lives. God did not have to die for frogs. They aren’t bad enough. We are.” ~ John Piper (Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die)
Although it would seem nice in the moment to hear that God might think us worthy of grace, the reality is far greater.
Judas may have committed some of the most serious sins documented. But the deep dark betrayal of Judas is a reminder of our own darkness. Lest we think him the worst of all, let us not forget the depravity of our own heart. The ways we betray Him daily. Our perverted desires to be entertained above our need for Him. How we run from the truth of His Word when it convicts sin in us.
It is true that Christ didn’t endure the fullness of God’s mighty wrath in our place because of our worthiness, but because of His love. A love that makes no human sense.
Love that died for the sins of Judas. And even us.
For me this week has been a concerted effort to live in the Good Friday mood. That might sound depressing to most people. But for me it is necessary. In fact it’s really the least I can do.
I think on the monumental suffering. The blood spilled. The betrayal done. His focused and unfaltering love. My devotions are spent solemnly reading the gospels tell a true-story of cosmic sacrifice. No matter how many times I read it, it all seems unreal to me.
But in allowing myself to feel the weight of His death, I can experience the relief and joyful gratitude on Sunday morning. The resurrection is all the sweeter.
In John 17:24 Jesus pray’s a prayer that seems to be the driving force of His going to the cross. He says Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
He saved us so that we would be with Him. Forever. He is driven by eternal love. And it is because of this that my heart sings these words from the hymn O Sacred Head Now Wounded.
What thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners’ gain; mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain. Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve thy place; look on me with they favor, vouchsafe to me thy grace.
What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? O make me thine forever; and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee.