Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 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. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
We, as Christians, need to hold onto a keen awareness of the facts to which Paul points us in Romans 5.
Christ died for the ungodly (v. 6).
While we were sinners, Christ died for us (v. 8).
Even while we were enemies, . . . (v. 10)!
Accepting this sharpens our hearing as we listen to the words of our Lord: “ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”–Matthew 5
Christ tells us to imitate our Father.
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. . . . and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”–Luke 6
What resources do we have to obey? The gift given when we were reconciled. Romans 5 tells us that “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Adolf Schlatter writes, “The ungodly were loved by the one who did the will of God. The act of love by which he unites the ungodly with himself, at the same time is the act of obedience by which he does the will of God. Hence his love originates from God’s love. He has demonstrated the extent to which God values the person and intently unites him with himself, in that Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans, p. 123f)
Thus, we (who were loved even as enemies) trust and obey and praise God for Good Friday! You might like to read Charles Spurgeon’s reflections on this day. See April 10 in his Morning and Evening book and read some of the days before and after. (You can find this to read on-line.) Spurgeon truly understood the effects and implications of Good Friday, both in what Christ did for us, and what He calls us to do for others. Spurgeon Quotes Here