But because of His submission to the Father's will that He should suffer, He brought life from death; and by His unprecedented love for us, He gave to us the gift of freedom through pouring out His blood. All we have to do is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and confess His lordship with our mouths, and we are free from the condemning law of sin. This is the simple message of salvation.
1 Peter 2:23 captures the message I'm trying (and often failing--thank You, Lord, for grace!) to learn:
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered,
he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
I've read that so glibly and so thoughtlessly in the past, without coming to terms with the vastness of what it means. The Word of God was silent. He spoke the universe into existance; the creative nature of His very breath animated dust and formed man, and yet He was silent.
Louis Giglio's message, "How Great is Our God" has helped to pull things into perspective for me so much about how big God is, and how small we (well..."I" anyway) try to make Him. We live in a universe with stars trillions of light-years away--places so distant that we would die before ever arriving there, and yet He's greater still. Deuteronomy 33:27 says that God is our refuge, and the strength of His arms upholds us forever. The fullness of this enormous, mind-blowing God was in the One we chose to kill; and He accepted it without comment.
It will take a lifetime to understand this sacrifice. My biggest struggle in life is the desire to defend myself; it's an urge that surfaces when I'm wrong, but even more so when I'm right. Yet Isaiah 53 tells me that the Jesus after whom I strive to pattern my life made no protest when we mistreated Him. He embraced the cross in silence for me. If He did it, He expects us to follow His lead when we crucify our flesh. Ouch.
The lens of Easter was still fresh in my mind when I was reading in Psalms this morning, and I found myself tearing up over this verse:
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your
righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday
sun. Psalm 37:5-6
This must have been such a comfort to Jesus in His life on earth. The context of verse 6 is that of the vindicating God. The Father is seeking those who will willingly lay down our right to be right and trust Him in the face of others misunderstanding us. He has covanented with us that if we will just trust Him with our reputations and quit trying to defend ourselves, we will shine in the light of His glory like the summer sun at noon.
The process of meekness is difficult. Our flesh never wants to take the lowest road; but God truly does give grace to be humble. If you're anything like me, it's a process of daily (sometimes hourly) confessing to the Lord that you've cared more for man's opinion than for His and allowed the fear of man to dictate your decisions--but He's so kind and so tender in our brokenness.
May the beauty of His relationship overwhelm your heart yet again today, friends. Blessings in Jesus' name.