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Grace.

 

I don’t believe there is as liberating a word in the human language as Grace.

If I were asked the biggest reason why I follow Jesus, I would probably answer, “because of grace.” Honestly, there’s nothing like it; especially for a sinner like me. Diligently search every other religion and you will discover that none of them come close to possessing the grace that Jesus does.

Let’s look into that a little further.

We Christians believe that God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, taking on human flesh, giving up the riches and the glory of his throne in Heaven for a lowly position on earth. Then He spends his life teaching, healing the sick, performing miracles, serving the broken and outcasts among him, and preaching good news to those without hope. And in the end, what happens? We crucify him.

Leading up to his crucifixion, he is silent. He is put on trial multiple times, yet never does he defend himself. As the Scriptures note, “he was like a lamb led to slaughter.” Though he would have been perfectly just in damning all of us to hell right then and there, Jesus does something far more radical.

He dies for us.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)

Woah, woah, woah, he did what?

Jesus actually dies for his ENEMIES. He dies for the people who mocked him, spit on him, cursed him, and put him on the cross. I have a hard enough time as it is trying to be a decent friend.

As Jesus was hanging on the cross, another man was sentenced to crucifixion alongside him. He was a thief. While the people  go on mocking Jesus, yelling at Him to save himself and come down from the cross, the thief looks over to Jesus and says, “for [I am] receiving the due reward of [my] deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he adds, “Jesus, remember me when you have come into your kingdom.” And Jesus replies, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Jesus gives grace freely to those who don’t deserve it.

Some of you think you don’t deserve grace for the things you’ve done. And my response to that is, “Exactly!” That’s why it’s called grace. I promise you, however, that nothing you have done is so big that the grace of Jesus Christ can’t cover it. If Jesus can give grace to a crucified thief who hasn’t done a single thing in his lifetime to merit God’s favor, he can give grace to you. If he can give grace to me, he can certainly give grace to you. And the great thing about his grace is that it’s free. It wouldn’t be grace if we had to work for it. All other religions make you work for it. Jesus flips the script though. He finished all the work for you.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

That’s what we Christians believe. Pretty crazy stuff, right? I don’t know what that means to you, but to me and my depraved self, it’s astoundingly good news.

If you’re overwhelmed by the weight of your sin today, talk with Jesus. He has a lot of grace He’d like to give to you.

 

 

Featured Image: Jarrell Jackson.

Instagram: @jarrellmljackson

Check out his work at vsco.co/actionjackson9

 

 

 

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