For January 24, 2021
Our Lord’s last evening on earth has always fascinated me as I wonder what He may have been thinking and feeling, or what the Disciples may have been thinking and feeling. In the Book of Romans, there is a commentary on our Lord’s actions that yet is beyond belief,
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But, God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6—8 NIV).
The first Adam’s disobedience introduced sin into God’s perfect world, which resulted in our spiritual and physical deaths. Spiritual death or sin, which separates us from God, happened instantaneously while physical death came gradually. In other words, Adam did not die instantaneously, as Genesis 5:5 records indicate he died at 930 years of age.
In essence, God created us to be holy (sinless) beings to live forever in His perfect world. But because of Adam’s disobedience, our world is full of sadness, sin, pain, disease, trouble, and death. Thus as the Bible teaches, all of us will sin, and all of us will die.1
In addition, since we are sinners by nature, our “good deeds” are sin-polluted. A splendid illustration would be how years ago when men wore white dress shirts. Carrying a fountain pen in the shirt breast pocket was a common practice. Unfortunately however, the ink pen leaked often so that the slightest ink spot on the white shirt ruined the shirt—completely.
As the ink spot polluted the shirt, sin pollutes our righteousness. On our best day, we are yet depraved, and our righteousness is worthless before a holy God—who is not sin polluted—and we fail when we try to compare our righteousness (filthy rags) to His,
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind (Isaiah 64:6 NLT).
However, this is not the case with Jesus Christ. He was without sin and fully aware His death would redeem all fallen humanity from sin and restore us to a loving, eternal fellowship with God,
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Romans 5:18-19 NKJV).
It is truly unbelievable how Jesus freely chose to offer Himself to redeem the entire world whether Jew, Gentile, rich, poor, believer or non-believer. All of us can vicariously receive the full benefit of His perfect sacrifice—without preference or distinction.
No longer do Satan, sin, and death bind us. From the moment we accept God’s gift of grace and love that covers our sin forever through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; from that day forward, our faith in His perfect, work determines our righteousness (or lack thereof) before our Heavenly Father.
Ultimately, we will all have to stand before our Maker for our thoughts, words, and actions performed in this life. My question is: Why not stand before Him in His righteousness freely given in Christ? Otherwise, we stand in our pride and self-righteousness to our own eternal peril as Proverbs 16:18 (NIV) implies, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
It is truly inconceivable how—based on our fallen human nature—Jesus would choose to redeem those people who love Him as well as those who hate Him equally. His amazing grace, abundant mercy, and enduring, all-encompassing love remains available to everyone everywhere; to those who choose to believe in Him, and even to those who choose not to believe in Him.
However, only those of us who respond positively, by accepting Him as our personal Lord and Savior, will ever experience the abundant life He promises for us today and receive the eternal life He promises for us tomorrow.
What a Wonderful Savior!