On Friday in Holy Week “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:8 KJV
Growing up in the Assemblies of God we always heard the Scripture in the King James Version. Later versions change “commendeth” to “demonstrated,” but one commentary I read explained the “commended” translation of the Greek word there this way …
“He has placed this infinite act of mercy in the most conspicuous light so as to recommend to the notice and admiration of all.”
This infinite act of mercy, God’s love toward us, is recommended to us by the lengths to which it will go to bring us back. The cross says this is a God who would rather die than be without you.
On Friday in Holy Week, somehow paradoxically called Good Friday, Jesus died in such a way as to make a grand recommendation from God to notice the overwhelming love he has been pouring out on you all your life and on our world since its creation.
Somehow we missed it. Religious people tend to focus on good behavior as our reasonable service to God… Nonreligious people tend to focus on why they can be a good person and still have moral standards even if they don’t believe in a deity.
But people who have joined Christ on the cross, in the throes of the great suffering or great love, as Richard Rohr would say, somehow sense and feel – – even if they don’t understand how it works – – what is happening here on Good Friday:
God in Christ is reconciling the world to himself by once and for all demonstrating (and recommending!) his overwhelming and endless love for us.
We may weep for Christ on the cross, but never doubt he believes the sacrifice is worth it because he cannot have you separated from him. He cannot live without you.