“God never compromised his standard. He satisfied every demand of justice. Yet he also gratified the longing of love. Too just to overlook our sin, too loving to dismiss us, he place our sin on his Son and punished it there.”- Max Lucado
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”- Matthew 11:28-30
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 9 of Unshakable Hope as he observes that we all have occasional moments of goodness, deeds of kindness. But no one reflects the image of God all day, every day. As Pastor Lucado states, the apostle Paul couldn’t find anyone: “There is no one righteous, not even one; . . . there is no one who seeks God.”-Romans 3:10-11
However, Max notes, people often bristle at this passage. Because, compared to the rest of the world, they’re good people. And therein lies the problem. For our standard is Christ, not the rest of the world.
Christ’s death and resurrection brought redemption, new life. Therefore, the legalist finds rest, the atheist hope. For we’re made of flesh and cannot achieve perfection. God knows this- and bestows grace. Writing in Church Dogmatics, Karl Barth described grace this way:
“On the one side there is God in His glory as Creator and Lord. . . . And on the other side there is man, not merely the creature, but the sinner, the one who exists in the flesh and who in the flesh is in opposition to Him. It is not merely a frontier, but a yawning abyss. Yet this abyss is crossed, not by man, not by both God and man, but only by God. . . . This man does not even know how it comes about or happens to him.”
In conclusion, Max defines grace as God loving, stooping, offering, caring, and carrying. So, Max asks, do you affirm God’s version of grace?
Today’s question: How has good satisfied every demand of justice in your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the Reformation Short Meditation, “With weapons of the Spirit”