He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. (Romans 4:25)
Relate: Some times life just is not fair. I had a strong sense of the injustice of the world even at a tender age. I was probably eight at the time. I was making some toast in the kitchen when my sister came in and got a drink. She came in through the dining room door, poured herself a glass, then left out towards the office without shutting the fridge. Not thirty seconds later my mom appeared in the kitchen through the dining room door. She saw the open door and me buttering my toast and set in on scolding me for leaving the door open. My protestations of innocence only added lying to my crime which made the entire situation far worse. I don’t remember what my punishment ended up being… probably I had to wash the dishes for the next few days. All I remember was the injustice.
Growing up, I was the brat, my sister was the angel. If I did something wrong I would get in trouble. If she did something wrong, if there was even a sliver of uncertainty of who the culprit was, I would get in trouble. Though she will deny it to this day, we both know there was more than a few times I took the punishment on her behalf. The thing is, I don’t ever think I took that punishment voluntarily. Let me take that a step further: I am absolutely certain there was not one instance where she was getting in trouble and I volunteered to take her place. To be fair, the opportunities for me to take her punishment were few and far between. I was getting punished far more often than she was but despite the far greater number of opportunities, she never volunteered to take my place either.
We didn’t because people don’t. It just isn’t done. Maybe on occasion a spouse or a parent or child will take this noble walk, but even then it is a very rare thing. Yet we were strangers to God when He took our place. We were considered his enemies when He died for us. That is beyond my comprehension.
React: I know this is the flip side of the exact same thing I wrote yesterday, but it is a message that bears repeating. Forgiveness was secured through the cross, victory sealed at the resurrection. As beautiful as that truth is, how often am I living as if my forgiveness still needed to be earned? How seldom am I fully walking in the victory that is mine? Jesus took my place receiving the punishment I deserved. He then turned around and gave me the victory I didn’t earn. There’s an old World Wide Message Tribe song, “We Don’t Get What We Deserve”. And that’s a very, very good thing.
Thank You for the injustice of the cross. There is an unfairness to the fact that You died so that I don’t have to. You nailed my sins to the cross and then descended into hell so that I never will. Then, in hell, You kicked down the gates and absconded with the keys proving, once for all, that You are victorious. Help me to live in that victory you paid for me.