In David LaChapelle’s painting, “Last Supper,” Jesus is surrounded by the sinners of today, yet Romans 5:6-8 tells us that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Thus in the cross we see God’s love shown through His benevolence.
I. Colossians 2:13-14. We were dead in our sin, but God made us alive with Christ. Through His work on the cross, we can see His benevolence through His forgiveness and justice. While it is easy to see love in not counting our sins against us, it is harder to see love in Jesus dying to pay for our sin.
II. Hebrews 4:14-16. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve, and grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Because of God’s benevolence in the form of His Son on the cross, we don’t have to be eternally punished for our sin and will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus instead (Romans 3:21-26).
III. Ephesians 2:1-5. We who have received God’s benevolence must, in turn, show benevolence to others. This is illustrated well in Jesus’ parable of Matthew 18:21-35 in the story of the debtor, forgiven of his debt, who wouldn’t forgive another of the debt owed to him.
God’s love, as shown through Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross, brings us to another table, one laid out for the wedding supper of the Lamb. We are spiritual beggars, knowing we are not worthy of a scrap from the King of King’s table, yet we find ourselves in robes washed clean and seated at the table, feasting for all eternity.