FULLY ALIVE TO GRACE
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2
Larry Crabb, the author of many Christian books, tells the story of getting a ticket while driving through his neighborhood one evening. The speed limit was 25 mph and he was clocked at 29 mph. Larry, while watching the police officer write up his ticket, admitted being more than irked. Who gets a ticket for going less than five mph over the speed limit! He told the officer just that but the policeman calmly replied, “But what was the speed limit?” “Twenty-five”, Larry muttered.
With the ticket in his hand, he drove home. And he was angry. He said to himself, with disgust, “What’s the big deal! I was just going 29 mph.” Then God spoke to him. Larry shared later that this is often how we feel about our sin. We make horizontal comparisons with other people instead of the only comparison that matters; that vertical one with a holy God. We feel pretty good about ourself and say, “But I didn’t do what he did!”, pointing to a real sinner outside our circle of friends.
The only way I will come to appreciate being declared free of God’s condemnation is to understand that I was as guilty before God as any other person on Earth. The corruption of my heart was as much of an offense to God as one who commits murder or molests children. Every human being stands on death row and each one is the subject of God’s wrath unless they look to Jesus for pardon. As His blood was poured out on Calvary, the same amount of blood was required for each person’s justification; enough blood to eventually take the life of the Savior. Only the death of the Lamb could set any of us free.
If today’s scripture fails to move me, I need to ask God to show me, yet again, what it took for Him to say, “You are no longer condemned, Christine. You are free.” Only then will I be like the woman who washed Jesus feet with enough precious oils to equal her year’s salary. Jesus explained her radical act of worship this way. “The one who has been forgiven much….loves much, but he who has been forgiven little….loves little.” Grace is cheap – only to the ungrateful.
Forgive me for ever having been casual about my sin. I am the worst of sinners and each time I tell you I’m sorry, the cross is needed for you to forgive me. Wake me up to beauty of grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen