One of the most profound expressions of God’s love for the world is found in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV) The highest price paid for something with great potential. We all understand the incentive behind snatching up potential. We spot something that we know, that with a little work will become a treasure. As we enter into the project, we discover that it was going to take more effort and more expense than we thought. But, we are committed. With an eye on intrinsic value, we put our heads down and go to work.
“My friends call me Zippy. My name is Zipporah.” Zippy was our guide in Israel on my first trip. We were on the 30-mile journey from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea. In a pictorial dictionary, the current landscape would be located under the word desolate. “I thought this was supposed to be a land that flowed with milk and honey,” I teased. Without a moment’s hesitation, Zippy said, “That is what God said. What he didn’t say was how hard we would have to work to have it that way.”
God knew full well how much work we would need. He saw the cross in its full and frightening dimensions. He also saw the tremendous upkeep we would require. Note Romans 7:19, 21, “ I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing…I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” (NIV) We all can relate with the Apostle Paul’s musing regarding “sin that lives within us.” (7:16).
God knew every ugly and discouraging truth about us and saw something in us that was worth the price and hassle. Be encouraged, the God of the universe, thinks you are a precious possession! In Jesus, our potential can be realized!