Easter Sunday morning, while listening to my pastor explain the wonder of the Gospel, one little three-letter word hit me upside the head. With power! “For.”
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8, NIV
“For” is translated from the Greek word huper. It means “instead of, in behalf of, in the place of.” I also looked up that little preposition in the dictionary. Then I dropped the meaning of the word “for” into the middle of Romans 5:8. The expanded statements greatly enhance our understanding of Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross for you and me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “in place of” me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “instead of” me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “on behalf of” me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “in the interest of” me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “in exchange for” me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “in order to save” me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “with the purpose of” me.
- While I was still a sinner, Jesus died “in order to obtain or acquire” me.
I’m the one that deserved to die. I am the sinner, not Jesus. Yet, while I was still running as hard as I could away from Him, He willingly accepted the punishment that was really mine. That was really yours. Why? “For” me. “For” you.
Take a few minutes and plug your name into the statements above. Jesus died in exchange for Kathy. Jesus died in the interest of Laura. Jesus died on behalf of Julie. Jesus died instead of Sue.
If you have never accepted Jesus’ death “for” you, do it today! Find out more about how to know Jesus as your Savior.
Which of these statements impacts you the most today? Why?
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Love this, Kathy. 🙂 Thank you.