Interesting article in Christianity Today.
“Unfortunately, in an attempt to convey the radical love of God, such well meaning Christians actually sabotage it.
For if we have some measure of intrinsic value to God, a number of things follow: First, it is our value, and not God’s love, that forces God’s hand. He looks at us and sees something of value, and being a reasonable fellow—one who knows and appreciates things of value—he pretty much has to redeem us. The love of God is not given freely in mercy to the undeserving, but instead to the deserving—because, after all, we are of infinite worth! God would be a poor judge of character if he did not choose to die for us.
Second, if we had intrinsic worth, then it is hard to imagine why Christ would have had to die for us. We are already people of “infinite worth”—what’s there to die for? Instead, you’d think Christ would come to earth to pay us homage. You would think his mission might have been to tell us about our infinite worth, and to makes sure we not only get that point but also live it. The mission of Christ would be educational and moral, but it would hardly need to be salvific.”
Rest of the article is a good read in that it shows us that God died for us not because we had value, but rather that we have value because He died for us. Sometimes these things are so subtle it takes a really astute understanding of the gospel to get it right.