Once upon a time….well, actually, before time even existed, this true story began. The central character is a King and his dominion is over everything we see and even over what we don’t see.
This King is God, the good and gracious Creator of all things. He is unique, one of kind, perfect, glorious, holy and just. And he is sovereign over all things.
In his good plan, he created mankind to represent him on the earth. But, even from the beginning, mankind failed to represent him well. They (and we) continually fall short and that shortcoming (also known as sin) has separated us from this good God.
Without him, although we may physically be alive, we are spiritually dead. Even worse, we are helpless….completely unable to bring spiritual life to our dead souls. Sure, we may try. We perform some good deeds, maybe go to church and pray when we feel the need.
We think we can work our way to God, but, if we are honest and because we know ourselves, we know we cannot bridge the great chasm between us and him.
But, God, even from the beginning, had a plan to reconcile us to himself. He revealed his plan over time and, when the time was just right, he humbled himself and lived as Emmanuel (God with us) amongst the broken people of the earth. This Emmanuel, more commonly known as Jesus, walked this earth for 33 years and lived a perfect life….the kind we could not live. He revealed his power over brokenness, over sickness, over sin…. even over death itself!
But, instead of honoring him with the glory he deserved, it was ordained that Jesus would, instead, die on a cross. It seemed like a cruel ending, but, truth be told, it was a glorious new beginning….the beginning of this gift bestowed upon us.
You see, three days after He was buried, Jesus rose from the dead, just as he had predicted. He walked this earth in his resurrected body and was seen by many. He later ascended to heaven where he waits to usher in all who choose to receive His great gift of grace.
This gift of grace promises to reconcile us back to God by removing the record of our sin and covering us in the righteousness of the perfect life that Jesus lived. It includes the promise that God will never leave us or forsake us. This great gift gives us peace, amidst the troubles of this world and hope for an eternity in the glorious presence of God himself.
So, the question becomes, what are we to do with this great gift of grace?
We can deny its existence and turn our back on the giver. And, there’s so many ways to do this….We can see beauty in the gift, but continue to trust in ourselves and work futilely towards a goal we will never reach; we may even do this while giving lip service to the King. We can pretend we never even heard of his great gift. We can even refuse to believe that such a gift could possibly exist for us.
OR, we can turn from our sin and from our self and we can run to the arms of a good and gracious God who is eager to receive us as his own. We can receive the gift and live the rest of our lives giving all thanks, all praise and all glory to this good and gracious God, the giver of the greatest gift ever bestowed.