“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die” ~ Romans 5:7 (NIV)
Now, there is a difference between a righteous man and a good man. A righteous man according to the law is one who strictly observes the law in the face of men. The Pharisees fall into that category. Outwardly they look righteous, because man looks at the outward appearance. So by a righteous man, it is not meant by a truly gracious man or one made righteous by obedience to Jesus.
A good man by definition is someone who is kind hearted and gives alms to the poor. Also, by a good man, it is not meant by one who is made so by the Grace of God, but they do good outwardly. As per the above verse, this is the reason why people will hardly die for a righteous (Pharisee) man. But for a good man, some may dare to die for them, because of their goodness. So a man may be righteous but not necessarily good.
So the Jews have three categories of people: righteous, good and evil. No one will even attempt to think of dying for an evil person. The whole human race is evil but God showing His love toward us died for us through His Son Jesus. This is how great the love of God is toward us! So we are told, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”, (Romans 5:8, KJV).
A background is given to us concerning the nature of man. By nature, man is evil and as stated, no one likes an evil man; not to think of dying for such a person. But God demonstrated His love for us by dying on the Cross of Calvary. That is a good news to those who accept that Sacrifice made on the Cross. But to those who refused to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, this is not a good news.
The good news for those who accept Jesus is that they are not made only righteous but good by God in His presence. I encourage you today to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour if you haven’t done so. God is still calling for sinners to come to him for repentance. Will you answer that call if you haven’t done so?