But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
One of the most popular tourist attractions in England is the giant stone pillars of Stonehenge. These massive pieces of granite are also a great source of mystery. Every year, people travel to Stonehenge with questions such as: Why were they erected? Who accomplished this extraordinary engineering marvel? And perhaps we wonder most of all how they did it. But visitors leave having received no answers from the silent stones. The mystery remains.
The Scriptures speak of a greater mystery—the fact that God came to live among us as a man. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3:16, “Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.”
This brief overview of the life of Christ—the mystery of godliness—is remarkable. What prompted the Creator of the universe to come and live and die for His creation, however, is not a mystery. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). God’s great love for us is at the root of the mystery of godliness, and the cross has made it plain for all to see. By Bill Crowder
An inclusio is a writing device where an idea or word is repeated at the beginning and end of a passage, but the idea in the middle is the author’s primary focus. In today’s passage, an inclusio is formed with the word “rejoice” (vv. 2,11). The emphasis is directly in the middle of the passage in verse 6: “Christ died for the ungodly.”
Lord, we may not understand everything You have done for us, or how You have done it. But we know You love us and sent Jesus to die for us, and that is all we need to know.
How Christ became a human being may be a mystery, but God’s love isn’t.