So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? -Genesis 18:22-23
Reflection on Pastor Tim Keller’s “Real Friendship and the Pleading Priest”:
Here’s story we’ve heard over and over: Abraham interceded for the city, Sodom. He bargained all the way from pardoning the city for 50 righterous people down to just one. But here is what I have been missing: Abraham understood that the righteous could save the unrighteous by his righteousness. When Abraham stood before God, He didn’t asked God to abandon His judgment or His righteousness. He didn’t ask, “Well God, why don’t you just forgo who you are for once and overlook their sin?” Rather, he asked, “Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?” (v24) In other words, Abraham knows God loves the righteous; and for their sake, God pardons the unjust. God cares more about saving then destroying.
In fear and trembling, Abraham risked his life to plea for the unjust. He asked God over and over and he asked for the final time, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once.“ For all we know, he didn’t just ask God to save Lot, his nephew. He was asking God to save the sin city Sodom! Well, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? A high priest who pleads for our case, risking his life. Abraham was the foreshadowing of the ultimate high priest to come who is Jesus. The Son of God came, gave His life and through His righteousness, we the unrighteous were saved.
Salvation is free for all and offered to all. But as Bonheoffer pointed out, salvation is not cheap grace. The high price tag was paid by the Son of God and thus made available to all. This is how much He loves.