Standing outside the football field, I watched as they pulled out their Bibles and started having a Bible study on the stairs.
I was photographing a recovering heroin addict from my college for a story I just did on him for the school newspaper, and he brought some friends to the photo shoot. Even though we go to a Christian university, I was still a little surprised to see them start having a random Bible study.
Most people here only seem to be surface-levelly interested in their faith. This guy was different. He’d been through enough to know that this shit was real, and it’s real in the way that impacts you every single day in every single way.
He started sharing his life verse from Romans 5.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character; hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 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.
God’s love is called agape in the Greek, which means an undeafeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other person, no matter what they do. It’s the self-giving love that gives freely without expecting anything in return, and does not consider the worth of its object. Agape is unconditional love, the love that God has for us and the world.
So you see, the ultimate sacrifice was just that – an act of love. There is no logical reason why the perfect God, creator of the universe, would come down to earth and become human, and then die for all of us, a bunch of sinners. There’s no reason.
Yet, that’s what happened – and it blows my mind. Looking at every person who comes across my path each day, I try to think, This is God’s child, whom Christ died for. Trying to think of people as God sees them makes loving the unlovable a bit easier.
But we are still imperfect humans. Humans who ignore the unlovable and seek the attention of the powerful. And all we can do is realize our sin, confess it, ask God for forgiveness, and try again the next day.
Only by the blood of Christ are we even able to do this. The Word became flesh, died for us, and gave us life.
The ultimate sacrifice.