Dying for me
I don’t know if this has ever crossed your mind, but I remember when I first began to understand the Gospel for myself. I grew up with God’s truth, but when I was a teenager I wrestled with certain aspects of it. I remember struggling to comprehend how one person could die for every other single person in history. That’s a pretty hard concept to grasp, isn’t it?
Then I realized that the world—as in “God so loved the world”—was a collective term that simply means me and all the other me’s. I thought of the thief at Calvary. While Jesus was hanging on the cross for the sins of the whole world, He turned to one single me hanging on an adjacent cross and forgave that person’s sins, saying, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). It was as if God were saying to all of us, “I love the whole world, but I love each one as if he or she were the only one to love.”
Do you love the world? your family? your church? Those are collective terms that mean you love the individuals themselves. Love—Christlike and unconditional love—is a personal, intimate thing. It’s a crimson portrait that touches even the loneliest heart.
David Jeremiah, Signs of Life, p. 233