Tuesday, January 19, 2016

too good not to be true

The Word for today:
Isaiah 54
I love this chapter. If Isaiah 53 is Good Friday, then Isaiah 54 is Easter Sunday.
The first word, after the crucifixon in chapter 53, is "Sing."
Did your heart ever sing? If not, then lay your burden at the cross and turn the page on your life.
If you've gone to the cross, but you still don't feel like singing, that means you left carrying something. It doesn't mean you're not saved. It means you don't know how saved you are.
Maybe you think it's all too good to be true. I thought like that for a long while after I'd been born again, until I learned that the salvation of Jesus Christ is too good not to be true.
Our salvation isn't manmade. Manmade religions are always some variation of what the New Testament calls a religion of "works." What that means is just what it sounds like--that we have to work our way to God. We have to do this, and we have to do that, then we have to do some more.
Christianity is the radical exception. Through the darkness which descended upon the cross came the clear, commanding, triumphant words, "It is finished!" (1)
The battle was over. What had to be done to achieve your salvation was done by another, by God himself.
It is very difficult to comprehend that anyone could or would do that much for us. We've been told there is no free lunch. We've been warned about the fine print, about the strings attached. There is no free lunch. But there's a free forever.
Paul, in the New Testament, must go to great lengths to convince the people--the saved Christians--that the deal was not about "works," about what we do.
The deal, the radical new covenant, was not about "do" at all. This was God-made, and it was "done."
It took a long while, even after I was born again, for God to penetrate my thick skull and infiltrate my wary heart with the three sweetest words I now know: "It is finished." But over time, "It is finished" has become my song, and my salvation. (2)
I still go to the cross. I go there often, even though Jesus isn't there any more. Because I still keep finding things that I never really left there, things I thought were mine to do.
I take them there. I leave them there. "It is finished," I sing.
(1) John 19:30; (2) Psalm 118:14

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