Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all . . . . From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. 2 Corinthians 5:14, 16
The Dan Hotel in Jerusalem became known by a different name in 2020—“Hotel Corona.” The government dedicated the hotel to patients recovering from COVID-19, and the hotel became known as a rare site of joy and unity during a difficult time. Since the residents already had the virus, they were free to sing, dance, and laugh together. And they did! In a country where tensions between different political and religious groups run high, the shared crisis created a space where people could learn to see each other as human beings first—and even become friends.
It’s natural, normal even, for us to be drawn toward those we see as similar to us, people we suspect share similar experiences and values to our own. But as the apostle Paul often emphasized, the gospel is a challenge to any barriers between human beings that we see as “normal” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Through the lens of the gospel, we see a bigger picture than our differences—a shared brokenness and a shared longing and need to experience healing in God’s love.
If we believe that “one died for all,” then we can also no longer be content with surface-level assumptions about others. Instead, “Christ’s love compels us” (v. 14) to share His love and mission with those God loves more than we can imagine—all of us.
When do you find yourself most prone to forget the “bigger picture” of your shared humanity with others? What helps remind you of our equal brokenness and need for Jesus’ love?
In hard times, Jesus, thank You for those moments when I see a glimmer of breathtaking beauty through the love and joy of others. Help me to live each day this way, regarding “no one from a worldly point of view.”
In 2 Corinthians 5:14–20, Paul writes to the believers in Corinth about the newness of life they’ve received from the life and death of Christ. This newness of life—being a new creation (v. 17) and living “for him who died . . . and was raised again” (v. 15)—is the result of the reconciliation Jesus accomplished through His death on the cross (v. 18). In verses 18–20, Paul uses a form of the word reconcile five times. He clearly wants readers to know that we’ve been reconciled to Christ and are called to bring reconciliation to others. What’s not explicitly mentioned in this passage is our broken relationship with God. Paul discusses our separation from Him because of our sinfulness and the necessity of reconciliation elsewhere (see Romans 5:1–11).