Everything about God, and every aspect of the story of redemption is miraculous. But I can think of no greater miracle than this:
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10)
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins; But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Ephesians 2:1; 2:4-5)
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions (Colossians 2:13)
While we were: still helpless, yet sinners, enemies, dead, Christ died for us. He died for us! Please take a minute to really contemplate that. It is so overwhelming, so miraculous, that I find it difficult to do this truth justice with written words. Would you die for someone who was your enemy, who was in opposition to you? Would you suffer for them? It simply boggles the human mind.
All scripture is inspired by God and useful to us (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And since God is perfect in all of His ways, and could inspire the writers of scripture to say whatever He wanted them to, then we can agree that no word in the Bible is there by accident. None are arbitrary. The words chosen, were chosen to convey a very specific meaning. This brings endless depths to the meaning and magnitude of the miracle outlined in the scriptures above. We were dead in our sins. DEAD. It is not a mistake that multiple scriptures refer to us in our pre-salvation condition as being dead. Do dead people do anything? No. No they do not. Dead people can do nothing for themselves. They are not even aware of anything. They are helpless and hopeless, in and of themselves. This makes plain that there is exactly nothing that we can do to save ourselves. Christ had to do it ALL. And ALL of the glory belongs to Him! The only thing those of us who are regenerate have done, is to receive this unbelievably generous gift. And the only thing we can do once it has been received, is to fall prostrate in worship, thankful submission, and praise before the one who willingly gave His life for those He had chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5), while we were His enemies, helpless and dead in our trespasses and sins! The Name Above All Names!
Christopher Powers of Full of Eyes ministries, has made a beautiful and moving animation of this very truth. I watched it today, in preparation for this essay. There is a scene when Christ ascends toward heaven and He is pulling the dead with Him. It brought me to tears. Christopher has so perfectly pictured this amazing truth for us. Please watch and be blessed:
Soli Deo Gloria!