Have you ever had the experience of someone coming up from behind you, clamping their hands over your eyes, without warning, exclaiming, “Guess who!” For a moment you are confused, caught unaware, and then by scent or voice recognition, you take a guess. Sometimes it is clear, other times it is a surprise – either way, the hands are lifted off your eyes and there is perfect revelation and joy as you recognize the playful spirit behind the mystery.
That’s how it was for me when I gave more thought to an all too familiar passage of scripture: Romans 5:8. Jesus died for me, while I was a sinner.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. How many times had I heard this read from the pulpit or proclaimed by a fellow church-goer on communion Sunday. Like hands clamped over my eyes, I had guessed at the meaning nonchalantly. I get it. I am a sinner and Christ died for me. Plain and simple on the surface, I thought I knew whose hands were covering my eyes. Aaaaah! – but when the hands came off, I saw so much more – recognition of truth in this all too familiar passage.
Do you see?
It’s in the word while…..
WHILE I was a sinner….HE SAW ME IN THE FUTURE! He saw past me – the sinner – and chose to pour grace out on me and save me from the punishment of my sins….this is the revealed mystery. Jesus sees us beyond our sinful state! Before we were born, before we physically sinned, He saw us through it all and died for us; Grace poured out in faith and love, abundantly.
In turn, we ought to do the same.
We need to see beyond people’s sin. No avoiding, no judging, but instead: pour grace abundantly. The mystery paid forward: we need to see others as Jesus sees them – just as he sees us; God sees all of us as His children.
Friend, Jesus sees you in the future as well and He died for you too.
What an awesome verse!
Quoting the words from a recent conversation with Bill Vanderbush, “Jesus is even better than we think.”