Overwhelmed by Grace
by Mitzi Brown
I was listening this morning to my favorite Christian radio station when they were interviewing an artist who has recently released a new album. Something they said resonated with me – so often people I meet with say they feel like forgiveness and God’s loving kindness, protection, provision, etcetera is for everyone else. Like God has singled them out as unworthy of love. What a lonely, defeated place to live. That kind of thinking surely stems from some earthly person’s influence – I find nothing in Scripture that supports this. But sadly, our broken parental or caregiving figures often shape how we perceive God.
... sadly, our broken parental or caregiving figures often shape how we perceive God.
I was thinking about how much it cost Jesus to forgive me. Just my sin alone is enough to kill. Romans 6:23 (NIV) says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord”. Imagine that not only my sin but the sin of every person – billions or trillions of people who have lived on earth from now until the day of Jesus’ second coming – were crucified with him. That’s a lot of sin.
Just one person’s sin is enough to kill. But He took all of it – everyone’s. And all of that was not enough to hold him in the grave. His love is stronger than the whole world’s ugliness! He rose back to life, conquering billions of deaths – not just His own. He conquered my death and yours.
Let’s paint a picture. Sin is gross, so let’s use something most of us will find kind of gross to illustrate. Let’s say the sin of one person is like having to clean up the contents one full septic tank – the place is full of human excrement, paper products used to wipe away excrement from skin, urine, mold, mildew, and bacteria. Yuk! And that’s just one. Imagine the contents of billions of septic tanks dumped on one man. Disgusting, right? But this God-man is so blamelessly perfect that even though the impact of this enormously disgusting pile of human waste is enough to kill him, it is not enough to keep him in the grave. I cannot even fathom how high and wide this pile of filth would reach. But His love is more perfect and cleaner than all of it. And mere contact with him wipes all of that junk out. It’s vanished! Gone! Not a single sign of the horrible mess remains! Jesus is like the Tide pen of sin! (All the women got that …)
Romans 8:1-4 (NIV) says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a]free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Yes, His love has conquered for me and you! For believers in Jesus – that He is the only way, the Son of God, who lived, died as is raised to life – there is no real death. Sure, this body perishes, and there is suffering for all who walk through life outside of Eden. And it hurts – not minimizing that. Nobody escapes unscathed. But thankfully, this is not all there is.
When that moves from head to heart, I am overwhelmed by His grace. #grace