"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man 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" (Romans 5:7-8)
Christmas Eve 1914, German soldiers began singing Silent Night. Across the battle line Allied soldiers recognized the tune and joined in their language. Bitter enemies suddenly had a common ground.
As singing continued, both sides ventured into no-man's-land to share food and cigarettes. The next day, fighting would resume, but the commonality of a hymn brought bitter enemies a Christmas truce for a few hours.
In war, rarely do enemies extend the offer of peace, even for a few brief hours.
Paul uses a similar example. We know people who have died in war, giving their lives for a greater cause. However, it is inconceivable to think someone would die for their enemy. Let alone offering peace at their expense.
However, that is exactly what Jesus did. While we were enemies of God, Christ died for us and offered us a peace treaty with God (Rom. 5:10).
Paul said in the beginning of Romans that humanity became God-haters (Rom. 1:30). He listed the desires within us that made us adversaries of God (Rom. 1:29-31). Paul’s conclusion was humanity deserved to die (Rom. 1:32).
Amazingly, God had mercy on us! God showed His love by sending Jesus into the enemy camp to rescue us. He showed up while we hated him.
The offense of sin was great, God could not overlook it. His solution was Jesus dying a criminal’s death on a Roman cross in our place while we were His enemies (Rom. 4:25).
This ceasefire was an invitation to venture into no-man's-land, where God was waiting for us with open arms. The Apostle Paul says now we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1)
Unlike the story of the World War I soldiers, our peace treaty with God lasts for more than a few precious hours. In Christ, we now stand in a constant state of peace and acceptance (Rom. 5:2). In Christ, we are not God’s enemies; we are His friends.
What comes to mind when you hear you were an enemy of God
What comes to mind when you hear that Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s demonstration of love?
Original article published July 24, 2009.