To Die

Romans 5:7 has been on my mind most of today. Paul wrote, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” My younger son’s wife spent over seven hours today under the knife as surgeons ever so carefully removed a tumor from her brain. (The prognosis is very encouraging.)

Today’s events for our family caused me to make a mental list of those for whom I would gladly, without the slightest hesitation, die. I actually surprised myself in that my list is longer than I would have at first estimated. In the course of the exercise, while trying not to do so, I also made a list of those for whom I would never die. That is a very extensive list. Life is precious and should be guarded with diligence. One should never squander one’s greatest gift. And then I come back to Romans 5:7. Jesus, God’s only son, died for Herod, Pilate, the soldiers who stripped Him bare, beat Him to a pulp and drove nails into His flesh. “Father, forgive them”

In the course of several decades I have recounted this story over and over and pretended to understand. I don’t! I have acted as though my degree in theology made me privy to the mind of God. It did not! And now I, after all these years, am at a loss to understand God’s amazing love. If you understand I am envious of you, for I know that, even in heaven after a millennium of millenniums, I will never get it.