“The algebra of heaven reads something like this: heaven is a perfect place for perfect people, which leaves us in a perfect mess. According to heaven’s debt clock, we owe more than we could ever repay.”- Max Lucado
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”- Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)
In Chapter 9 (“No Condemnation”) of Unshakable Hope, Max Lucado talks about the US National Debt Clock. Located at the corner of Avenue of the Americas and West Forty-Fourth Street, the clock keeps a running total of the US debt and each family’s share. It’s depressing and overwhelming.
Thus, as Pastor Lucado pondered the debt clock, a question occurred to him. What if heaven had one of these? A clock that measured not fiscal, but spiritual debt. As a result, Max notes that the realization of our moral debt:
- sends some people into a frenzy of good works. Therefore, for the legalist, life becomes an unending pursuit of piety. Yet, a gnawing fear lurks deep within. What if I haven’t done enough? Weariness sets in.
- causes others to respond with unbelief. Atheists throw up their hands, exasperated that God could demand so much. Hence, God must not exist. And even if He does, He’s not worth knowing. It’s a lonely life.
However, as the apostle Paul knew, another option exists to counter despair and unbelief. He presented that option in Romans 8:1.
Furthermore, Max adds, the Bible doesn’t tell us when, in his conversion process, Paul realized the meaning of grace. But, we know Paul received grace – or that grace got Paul. Either way, Pastor Lucado states, Paul embraced God’s improbable offer to make us right with Him through His Son.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you see how Jesus fulfilled the algebra of heaven? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “God satisfied every demand of justice”