Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)Maxmilian Kolbe was a Franciscan Priest. During the World War II, he provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland. He hid 2000 Jews from Nazi Gestapo’s. On February 17, 1941 he was arrested and imprisoned at Pawaik prison. Later he was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner #16670. In July 1941 a man from Kolbe’s barrack vanished, prompting the deputy camp commander to pick 10 men from the same barracks to be starved to death in Block 13 (notorious for torture), in order to deter further escape attempts. One of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, “My wife! My children! I will never see them again!" At this Maximilian Kolbe stepped forward and asked to die for him. His request was granted. During the time in the cell he led the men in songs and prayer. After three weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe and three others were still alive. Finally he was murdered with an injection of carbolic acid.
The reading for today is all about the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ for us. In verse 6 we read, “while we were yet helpless, weak, at the right time, Christ died for us.” Verse 8 declares that the death of Christ reveals the love of God towards us. Paul’s preaching had raised the question if God is just. The adversaries of Paul argued that if the Pauline Gospel is true, then God has not been true to the Law or to His covenant people. Therefore the Gospel of the Crucified must be false. The entire epistle is an answer to this accusation declaring that ‘towards us, while we were sinners, Christ died for us.’ The crucifixion is not for us gross sinners but for all of us, a sacrifice extra nos and pro nobis.
The love of God revealed in Christ encompasses the entire humanity. He loves us all irrespective of creed or color, rich or poor. In him there is only one community- humanity. His love goes beyond human understanding. It beckons us to reciprocate his love to others. It is in loving others that we proclaim the unfathomable love of Christ in us.
In 1908 William A. Dunkerley wrote:
In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.
In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord,
Close binding humankind.
Let these words be our prayer.
Rev.Ninu Chandy, General Secretary, MT Sunday School Samajam, Tiruvalla