While We Were Powerless to Help Ourselves

Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst

 

Exodus 19:2-8a
Psalm 100
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8-23

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master JesusMSG

It is important to remember that the whole of the Old Testament is the story of God choosing a small group of people to represent Him and His ways in the world. The Hebrews were known as those strange people who worshiped one God. They were also known to be powerful when they were faithful to their God and weak when they worshiped other gods.

The scriptures are replete with accounts of men and women who remained faithful to God and received His blessings. All those stories are forerunners of Jesus. Paul reminds us of that with, what God has always wanted to do for us. Before creation, God, in all His Forms, planned for Jesus to die on the cross. That was the easy part. After death, Jesus had to face Satan and the Angel of Death. Jesus had to carry the sins of all humans for all of time as he faced Evil. And he had to do it without God’s presence.

Because Jesus dumped our sins in Hell, we can now face God and be all together with God.

And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praiseMSG

If that paraphrase is too much for you, try this. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. NIV

Paul wants us to understand that without Jesus we can never have peace with God. Only by joining ourselves with Jesus can we settle in, relax, and know true peace.

Verses 6-8 is summed up nicely by Eugene Peterson. Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to himMSG

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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