But I wonder still why did Christ even bother to die for me? Does God merely pity me? The Bible says he loved us before he died for us. My question is why? What value does he place on a hopelessly-lost-without-Christ soul? Nancy
First of all remember that God loves because He IS love!! Our hearts have been made to know this even though we are so easily swayed by what we see and hear all around us and from within the reasonings we learned in this world.
From the moment I was born into this world my perceptions of the world, including myself and those around me, were formed according to the world in which I have lived. I know what it is to estimate myself and others (and therefore the whole world) by what I see and hear and learn by senses that cannot estimate according to reality. The irony here is that all of humanity has perceived a creation that is not only false ... but one that does not exist!
What do I mean? That the world as we have imagined it to be has never existed. Oh, I'm not denying the reality of the comings and goings and deeds and misfortunes of those who have inhabited this planet, but the world we have imagined has its own life, its own purposes, its own source. Such a world is not the world, and our own estimations of our "life" are only a shadow, only a carcass of the world as God sees it.
What has God seen? He has seen the thing that had been created IN HIS OWN IMAGE. And He has loved that thing enough to preserve it by bringing it into death so that it could be raised in newness of life ... and He did that through Christ. While you and I have demanded some kind of value or even lack of value in our estimations of this world, and of ourselves in particular, God has always and only placed the value in the thing that is to be the life of this humanity: Christ.
While many denouncements and judgments were made by God toward this thing that has boasted in the nothing of its own emptiness (the thing we perceived as everything) God did not debase this thing ... for the empty thing debased itself. God's judgments have always been true, for He has never been under the delusion of a false estimation. It has been the judgments of man - those judgments we understand all too well - that are false as we have tried without end to validate our own existent according to ourselves. But God has rightly judged the world to death so that the world could be raised in newness of life through Christ, who is the summation of the life of God in man.
Nancy, know that God has always valued the only thing that has ever been your life: Christ.