Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Delete Key of Grace

"Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!"  2 Corinthians 5:17 (Message)

What would we do without "undo"? I remember Typing 101 in high school where we all sat at rows of mechanical typewriters with the goal of typing fast with no mistakes. No mistakes because once the key struck the page the character registered which meant the entire page had to be retyped which meant time spent and as we learned in Business 101, time is money! Then along came the IBM Selectric with its changeable type balls and "correct-tape". And typing was never the same. Now we think nothing of it -- just use the backspace or delete key on the keyboard and it's as if the mistake never happened.

Under the Old Covenant of our lives with God nothing but perfection was acceptable. With just one mistake a saint became a sinner. But with the New Covenant of Grace came the possibility of an "undo" -- the "Correct-key" of the Perfect Life of Jesus. To be sure God is not condoning sloppy living, but as Psalm 103:8-14 reminds us He knows how we are made and His mercy through Christ gives us the ability to live each day as a new one -- a fresh, clean slate with no mistakes.

Some people long for the "good old days" of mechanical typewriters just like some Christians think we are still under the law of "no-mistakes-living". But I for one am so glad for the backspace key on my computer keyboard (I've used it at least twenty times since I started writing this!). And I am overwhelmed with thanks to God who provides limitless undo's through the perfect record and grace of Jesus.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Will You Believe?

It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!  1 Corinthians 15:56, 57 (Message)

When Jesus died, where did He take sin? He took it to the grave – that place of darkness, of silence and impotence. So why do we keep on sinning? Because we don’t know or we don’t believe that He ended sin once, for all.
The “sin” we struggle with now is just that old dead past life trying to come back as a zombie – frightening and tormenting us into thinking that the way we used to be is the way we are. But it’s not! Jesus is our salvation and our forgiveness. Jesus is our cleansing and our power. Jesus is our Life!
Can you believe in His ability to put an end to sin -- His ability to change and transform your heart? Will you have faith in His ability to bring new life to what appears to be dead?

In Christ, your guilt before God has been eradicated. I don’t care what you’ve done, how far you’ve gone away from God, how big or ugly or horrible is your sin or transgression. Jesus already took it all on and became your sin so that you could become righteous before God. Right now you can stand before God not only forgiven, but free and clean – no condemnation, no shame.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

His Death Means Our Life

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21    

What did it mean for Jesus to die – and to die the way He did? His death was public, out in the open with multitudes looking on. His death was shameful -- no priest or pastor by His side to offer words of comfort, just accusers and scorners insulting Him, mocking Him, abusing Him. His death was unjust -- the protections of the legal system were set aside for the law of human nature to be fully revealed in all of it's ugliness. He wasn't tried and found guilty -- He was condemned for being good. His death was excruciating – beaten and tortured, flayed and pierced, Jesus was pummeled not only by the fists of His captors but with blows of our sin and guilt.

All of the horror, pain, despair, and lostness of human existence was focused on this one Man at this one time. On Him was laid our shame and blame, our delinquency and dishonor. The innocent Lamb led to the slaughter, Jesus was not only blameless, He was righteous, full of forgiveness and bleeding love.

It had to be that way. The redemptive sacrifice of the Creator turned creature would have gone unnoticed had Jesus given up His life in the quiet horror of the Garden. Such an amazing offering had to be burned so deeply into the collective human consciousness that forever after it would be the reference point not only for history but for hope itself. When the cross of Christ was thrust into the ground of Golgotha the universe shook with a new definition of time. Like the brilliant flash of lightning splitting a black sky, the death of Jesus was the cataclysmic rebirth of a lost and dying race. 

What Gift! What a Guarantee! What a Good God is ours!