April 04, 2007


Romans 5:1-11

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8


God gives us evidence of the truth of his love for us. And though the proof is a one-time event, the love it demonstrates is for all times.

James Denney, a Scottish Presbyterian theologian, once emphasized this point as he stood before a large congregation while holding a cross and crying out, "God loves you like that! God loves you like that!"

But why "like that"? Why didn't God prove his love by putting an end to disease or war or poverty? Why didn't God prove his love by giving us what we want?

Because it's the cross we need. This proof is not arbitrary, but answers our deepest need. We need a love that can take away the sin that makes life with God im?possible.

I once heard a fine sermon in which the preacher spoke about a garbage strike in his city. When the accumulated garbage made life nearly intolerable, people offered to take away your garbage for a price. Un?for?tun?ate?ly, some haulers would take your money and dump your garbage in a vacant lot. Police would then find your name in the garbage, fine you for littering, and charge you to take it away. "Be careful," said the preach?er, "whom you choose to take away your garbage."

It is because no one else can take away our sins that God's proof is the best proof of all.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, take our sins away, we pray. Thank you for proving your love to us and filling our deepest need. Amen.

About the author — Jack Roeda

Rev. Jack Roeda is the senior pastor at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an adjunct professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is married to Carol Sue Kok, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Pastor Roeda has served two previous churches: Exeter (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church and Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan.

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