Approaching Easter and remembering the sacrifice of my Lord and Savior, I suffer over the sin and hurt that still fills this world. I rejoice in the gift of salvation, in the richness of His glorious grace. Realizing He came and walked among us in this fallen and depraved world for the purpose of reconciling us to God overwhelms me as my mind is drawn to consider and ponder all the awful He faced. We are spared so much because of our lack of knowledge, but He came knowing all. He was aware of every evil, of all deceit, of every false and erring way. We are not. In fact, I believe there is great grace in His shielding from us many things that exist in the spirit realm. We are protected from what would be staggering for us to know. I thank HIm for that…
I thank Him for creating a perfect plan of salvation, one requiring faith. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” There are many things we are not meant to know in order that we might trust in the vast and wonderful wisdom of God, in His sovereign reign as Lord and Master. When I see His commands, I know that I am to obey. I know this as well, “in obedience we are blessed.” Knowing that He loves me, that He is sovereign and that He will bless me in obedience gives me daily comfort, direction and care, perfect provision.
So much is debated and grand arguments have been devised by individuals who are far superior in intellect to me, claiming all manner of understandings of which I find I am unable to grasp. I listen to arguments and debates and study scripture for myself knowing all along deep down on the inside that what matters most is settled for all of eternity, not just in eternity, but also in me.
This is what I know…Jesus, son of God, came to earth to do what was prophesied in Isaiah 53:
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afllicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth…Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus came and indeed fulfilled this prophesy, taking on my sins, bearing them on the cross in His body and paying a price I could never pay. His Holy Spirit revealed truth to my soul when I was a young girl and with this truth came conviction and also a drawing, powerful loving grace to “come and drink of the water of life freely.” I confessed with my mouth, believed with my heart, surrendered my all on my knees in an alter, crying aloud and unashamedly to the Christ of the cross that had been preached to my young ears by faithful men who held fast to this truth, “Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected on the third day, raised up by God the Father!” The message was simple and consistent, “come all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” How desperately I wanted to enter into God’s rest!
Upon my conversion, the very night I was saved, a love unlike anything I had ever experienced filled me to overflowing. I well remember looking into the sweet faces of those surrounding me, many I did not know, and feeling as if their hearts were joined in perfect harmony to mine. The richness of His love is the testimony of my experience with Him. I was delighted to find later in scripture, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethrren.” (1John 3:14)
I am inclined, as were those old stewards of the faith I was blessed to listen to in church as a girl, to stick to what I know for sure. I will sing the wondrous story of His love and grace. I will walk in the truth knowing that Jesus was the Word made flesh that came and dwelt among us and that God’s Word will endure forever. I will stand firm knowing that God is rich in love and tender mercies and that His mercies fail not, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor?” (Romans 11:33-34)
This scripture proclaims the desire of my heart toward those I meet along the pathway of this life, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)
This is why our belief and devotion matters. Because it determines what we know and what we do with what we know. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news. It is the best news and those who hold it dear are compelled to share it out of Christ’s love that indwells us in the form of His Holy Spirit. “Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”