Yesterday the Lord gave me an opportunity to talk to a friend that believes differently than I do about God and Salvation. As we were talking, my friend mentioned that she needed to follow commandments and be a good person in order to get to Heaven, while I was able to talk about Jesus and talk about GRACE.
Growing up in a Christian home my entire life and living in the center of the Bible Belt, I’ve heard the phrase Amazing Grace sung or said one million times…at least. Sometimes when you have heard something so many times it can become normal or habitual. I fully know and believe that God’s grace is absolutely amazing, but if I’m not careful I can let Jesus become a story and my faith become a habit. Wow. Yikes.
As I was talking with my friend I was reminded of the stark contrast between works based religions and Christianity; a faith that is based upon grace. Ahhh. I am so incredibly thankful that I do not have to do anything to earn my Salvation. I would be in some serious trouble. God is so holy and just and I am a wretched sinner. I have broken so many commandments and messed up so many times. My heart is so naturally wicked that I sin daily in ways that I don’t even realize. Yet, Jesus who lived a perfect life stepped in to take the punishment that I rightfully deserve. He was crucified. He didn’t just die, he was crucified for me. But God doesn’t stop there. 3 Days later Jesus ROSE!!! He conquered sin and death through death. He took the full wrath of God so that I might have eternal life and a relationship with the Father. “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. – Romans 6:4″
You guys! The cross is the farthest thing from a mere story; ITS SO REAL and SO INCREDIBLE. (Thank you Jesus for your grace in reminding me how amazing your grace is, lol. And for bringing the Gospel back to life each time I forget this!!!)
Today we look at and reflect on the Crucifixion of our Saviour. What a dark day that was…the light of the world was slain. But Jesus told his disciples, “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrows will turn to joy…I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:21,22
We have some much to rejoice about. We know the ending. Jesus was not defeated by sin, death, or darkness and he will come again! We get to share in the victory! Through trust and repentance we can have life to the full on earth and eternal life in Heaven.
Oh. my. goodness. Now that is amazing grace. Thank you Jesus for saving a wretch like me.