The Death of Christ was an Act of Gracious Deliverance

We typically like to help those who are appealing to us in some way or
other. When we do help someone who is in trouble, we often have
preconceived expectations. We expect the person to appreciate what we
have done and to thank us for it. We also expect the person to
eventually exert some effort of his own to bring about his recovery. We
might even expect the person to help us in times of distress.

It is astounding that Christ did not die for us for any of the above
reasons. God’s kindness to us was not motivated by any such human
rationalization. It was rather a divine act of pure love to those who
would never be deserving of His deliverance that He achieved through
the sacrifice of His Beloved Son.

“And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided
him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ,
the chosen of God.” (Luke 23:35) “And one of the malefactors which were
hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”
(Luke 23:39)

The reaction of the crowd, the rulers, and the thief hanging next to
Him represents the opinion of all mankind as they look upon the cross.
The death of Christ is not looked upon with appreciation by the natural
man. We consider it an act of weakness rather than an act of
deliverance for the human race. The thought that anyone should have to
die as our substitute is an insult to our pride and our warped concept
of justice. We would go so far as to say that it never should have
happened and it was a most unfortunate miscarriage of justice. This
means then that Christ died for those who were most ungrateful. He died
for multitudes that would live and die, yet would never thank Him for
what He did.

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for
the ungodly.” (Rom. 5:6) While we were without the power or ability to
help ourselves, Christ died for us. We were far away from God and we
had no possible means of being able to bring ourselves back to Him. We
were as sheep who had gone astray because we deliberately turned to our
own way. (Isa. 53:6) We were responsible for going astray but, like
sheep, incapable of finding our way back. Christ said He “came to seek
and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) When the shepherd found
the lost sheep, he laid it on his shoulders and brought it home. (Luke
15:5,6) The sheep was in no way able to get itself home, and neither
were we.

The absolute helplessness of the sinner is also illustrated in the
parable of the good Samaritan. As he journeyed, he “came where he was:
and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and
bound up his wounds…and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an
inn, and took care of him.” (Luke 10:33,34)

“Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an
upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous
benefactor someone might even dare to die. But God clearly proves His
own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ
died for us.” (Rom. 5:7,8 Amp.) There was no reason within ourselves
for God to love us and to give His Son to die for us.

In the conversion of Paul, an apostle of Christ, we have the example of
how Christ died for the chief of sinners. Before he was saved he:

  • was
    binding and delivering into prisons both men and women who belonged to
    Christ (Acts 22:4)
  • tried to do many things contrary to the name of
    Jesus (Acts 26:9)
  • voted to put Christians to death (Acts 26:10)
  • compelled Christians to blaspheme being exceedingly enraged against
    them (Acts 26:11)
  • tried to destroy the church of God (Gal. 1:13)
  • was aggressively insulting to Christ (1 Tim. 1:13) 

He had many
counts against him, yet Christ saved him and he became a pattern of
God’s longsuffering to sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15,16)

“Thanks be to God for His unspeakable (indescribable) gift!” (2 Cor.
9:15) When God gave His Son to die on the cross, He gave a gift that
was beyond telling, indescribable. It was motivated by the greatest
love that has ever existed.

“For God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) The cost was the greatest of any
gift that was ever given. The gift has the greatest worth of any gift
ever received.