This morning, I was reading through 1 Peter quietly until I came to the end of chapter two. God’s Spirit reminded and convicted me of the cost of His grace towards me. 1 Peter 2:24 penetrated my heart, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”
God’s son Himself bore my sins (such grace) experiencing one of the most disgraceful, excruciating deaths of all time, being humiliated in front of a boisterous, gawking, jeering crowd while hanging naked on a cross attached by hands violently pierced with huge, blunt spikes. GOD HIMSELF DID THIS! Why?! Because He loved you and me who are disgraceful…it was GRACE IN THE MIDST OF DISGRACE. This morning, He brought painful tears to my eyes…freshly, humbly, and disappointingly recognizing the jerk that I am and how wonderful and amazing Jesus is.
Why did He do this? “That we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” As I cross reference this in the Bible, several other powerful verses come to mind:
- John 3:16&17 are the most evident ones, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 states that “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
- Romans 5:8 is wonderful but also a convicting verse, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What should our response be to this? Let’s go back to the invitation to follow Him that he initially gave to the original disciples. Luke 9:23 declares, “And, he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” He has called us to bear our own cross like He did and follow Him. This is not a one and done proposition. He calls us to do this daily.
Galatians 2:20 is an absolute must to live the life that He has called us to, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” He wants us to stop living in selfishness and live a life of faith serving Him. This enables Him to live life in us reminding the world of His grace.
Like His son, God has called us to be “GRACE IN THE MIDST OF DISGRACE.”