July 27, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“When we were enemies we were reconciled to God
by the death of His Son”
There was one small speck in the vast universe of God where rebellion and hostility toward its creator was evident. Its inhabitants had declared war upon the benevolent God who had brought their world and had brought them into being. His avowed enemies, they issued their declaration of independence from God.
That God had intervened and revealed Himself in many different ways and times to His creatures. Yet the rebellion and insolence only grew. His most recent attempt to communicate with His creatures was through a nation that had been favored and blessed. They had seen God’s miracles; they had known miraculous provision through a wilderness for forty years. God had entered into a covenant with them and had given them His law, a reflection of His moral character. But that nation, as well, rejected the knowledge of God and turned to idols.
What would God do? How would He respond? “Having yet one Son, His well-beloved…” To this world which had risen up in insurrection, God sent His only Son. He did not send Him to conquer and subdue; He was sent to reveal all that God is and all that He wished to be toward humanity.
But the enemy was not impressed. They took the “Heir” and nailed Him upon a cross as though defiantly telling God that they wished nothing from Him and did not want to know about Him. With a Satanically inspired madness, their hatred and enmity against God crested at its high-water mark at Calvary. The creature sought to murder the Creator!
How did God respond? What did He do? The guilt of the human family was not only established by our ruin in sin and our rebellion against light, but now we rejected the full blaze of divine revelation, shutting our eyes in an insane rush to perdition. Judgment must be imminent.
But wonder of wonders, our ultimate act of enmity against God, our crowning sin in our rebellion against Him, the clearest expression of our stance as enemies of God – that very same crime would be used by God to reconcile us, to make us His friends.
Primitive tribes may talk of their “peace child” as a means of reconciling tribes; monarchs and kingdoms may tell of intermarriage between royal families to maintain friendly relationships; and modern nations may tell of their pacts and alliances. But the glory of God’s plan for reconciliation is unmatched and unrivaled. He actually sent His Son into a hostile world, not to negotiate or to broker a peace or a compromise. He sent Him to reconcile His enemies by allowing His enemies a free hand to brutally treat and then impale Him to a tree.
There is nothing in the history of nations which can even serve as an example. The very last thing we would have expected is a basis of reconciliation such as this. The worst that the enemy could do against God was used as the very means to reconcile those very same enemies and, not only make them into friends, but to bless them (that would be us), with all His heart ever desired to give humanity. What a God! What a Savior!
- Trace the mentions of “His Son” and “His own Son” through Romans
- Reconciliation means far more than that all hostilities have ceased. It means we are nor friends that God has welcomed.
- Think of how the first ten verses of Romans 5 depicts our condition: “without strength … ungodly … sinners … enemies” Can you see a progression in our guilt and also a progression in God’s mercy and grace?