Yesterday I spoke about the unique happening at the cross where both the righteousness and holiness of God came in contact with the the grace and mercy of God; and they did not meet in conflict with the other, but they combined in pure worship of our God. This is still making me spin my wheels even today! What an awesome wonder the Cross is...but there is a reality that we must face if we are to live in the wonder of the cross. We are sinners, God is not. In reading in preparation for this sermon, John MacArthur in his sermon talks about how we tend to downplay our own sin and focus on the sins of other people. He claims, in essence, that we don't take our sin seriously and we suspect that God's grace is easily given because we think God treats our sin the way we treat our sin. That is to say that God can simply laugh off sin or extend grace freely to us with little cost.
Well, there is a saying going around that claims "Freedom isn't free" and it is usually to help us remember the soldiers and the veterans. We recognize their sacrifice because the joy and the freedom we experience was given to us by others. Let me use this idea as a stepping stone for a far greater cost and a far greater salvation, "Grace isn't free." Sure, we walk around in the joy and freedom of our salvation in Christ, but it cost God severely. When we read popular verses of Scripture like...for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son...and God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God... and Jesus' prayer Not my will, but yours be done. When we read these verses and the Passion narratives presented in the Gospels, we should not only see the grace of God through Jesus, but the holy and righteous God that would take on the pain of death, the penalty of sin, of which he never knew or understood; so that we could have a relationship with Him.
So often we mess around, thinking we know more, act better, and are the victims of... but Jesus Christ could have claimed all of those things and he would have been right! Instead, Jesus Christ, who shared a divine lineage and a divine character understood that holiness was the standard and loving until it hurts was the expectation. All of this is a picture of the Cross...our penalty has been paid, but let us not forget the high cost of the payment.
For the past week, I have been able to see the cross as worship, perhaps the purest and most complete form of worship ever experienced on earth. This is both beautiful and challenging to me. Also, this song has been going through my head all week, it's So good...
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.