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.