What is Grace?
“Shut up!” How childish that sounds coming from a mother of four. Immature, cutting words passed through my lips, taking flight as they hit the air, piercing my eight-year-old’s tender heart. Before I knew it, the words were gone, a vapor I could not grasp and stuff back in. The regret came fast and lingered through the evening. I’d done it again.
The guilt surfaced quickly as I realized what I had just said — what relationship I had just wounded. I sank into the chair in the corner and began to preach to myself how very wrong I was. I proceeded to add up all the other harsh words I had used that day. Surely I would have to pay; I would somehow have to earn my way back into good standing after sinning like this again. How does God put up with me?
His Kindness Leads Us to Repentance
But God was kind not to leave me with those lies for long. He whispered His words of sweet grace into my ear: “You are my beloved daughter, not just when you are good but at this very moment. This is what I was sent for: these very moments when your flesh has overcome you. This grace that you have found at the cross is yours. It is all yours! It is not just a saving grace, it is a living grace. It is a grace that counts you righteous. Believe that my grace is enough for you at this very moment and be free.” He loved me into repentance and caused me to run to my little boy to seek forgiveness.
His Gift to the Sinner
You see, my friends, we are going to sin in this life. Even in our best efforts, we will still find ourselves with moments like my interaction with my son — or even far worse. This is why we need Jesus. This is why He had to humbly descend to our level. This is why He had to live a flawless life.
He willingly hung on a tree of death, was mocked and scorned, spat upon and hated.
He spent three painful hours separated from His perfect relationship with His Father, crying out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” so that we would never have to.
He was sealed in a tomb that could not hold back His glory, and then He rose again to sit at the right hand of God to pray for us, reign over us, and reside in us through the Spirit.
Through Christ we were given a righteousness that could not be earned other than by a perfect sacrifice of blood and tears, enabling us to stand before the Father who loves us as He loves His son.