Saturday, 27 April 2013
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. Romans 5:7
The thought now presented is given to show us a contrast between how we as humans are normally expected to act in comparison to how our Lord in fact did act. We were just presented with the truth that, “…when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” In continuation of that thought, we have a repetition of “for.” It is introduced to offset what we have just seen concerning Christ.
Christ died for the ungodly, but what is the normal and expected action of fallen man? In him we see the truth that it would be an extreme exception (scarcely) “for a righteous man will one die.” A righteous man is someone we see who is upright and obedient to the laws he encounters. A righteous man, if any, is the one who expects that he will “walk on the golden streets.” Everyone looks to him as the model and example of what we should also obtain. What would be the point of dying for such a man? We have no intimacy with him. We merely see his act and conduct and may wish to emulate it, but the giving of our life for his would be self-defeating. If he will somehow miss the mark and not walk on that golden avenue, then how much less of a chance would we have? Rather, he will die and I will do my best to emulate him before I do so as well.
Paul continues – “Yes perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.” We look around us at those we love, those we care for, and those we live our lives with in a close and personal manner. Among these people are what we might term “really good guys.” They are amicable, friendly, loving of others, honest, without pretence, etc. They are the people who lead as the example for others to be the best they can be. Their loss would make the world a less-better place and we would always regret it if we could have interceded for them and didn’t.
Perhaps from time to time someone would dare to die for one such as this. And so we have the contrast set and which will be explained in the coming verse. Christ died for the ungodly when we would fail to die for the righteous and most probably fail to do so even for the good. What manner of beings are we? And more so, what manner of Lord do we serve? How could there be such a contrast between the two?
Life application: If you are a saved believer in Jesus Christ, would you “jump on a grenade” for a group of criminals who were intent on killing you? Each of them bears God’s image and without another chance to hear the good news they will be eternally condemned. You, on the other hand, are on the highway to heaven already. Which death actually makes more sense from God’s perspective?
Lord God, I look around at the immense wickedness of the world in which I live and I loathe what I see. But I cannot hide the fact that I was once Your enemy too. Apart from Your great love and the mercy which You bestowed upon me, I was on the same path to eternal separation from You. Help me to pity those who so desperately need You and to be a light of Your truth to them. Amen.