In order to understand why Jesus needed to come to this Earth, we took a look last Friday at the story of the rich young ruler. We came to understand that we cannot work our way into Heaven: “As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, ‘Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.’’’ (Matthew 19: 23-24 MSG).
Wait. Where did these commandments that apparently cannot be completely kept come from anyway?
The answer to this question is easy. Just ask anyone in the Jewish culture this question, and they will say, “Moses”. Moses brought the law. This is even recorded in John 1:17: “For the law was given through Moses…” (NIV; See also 2 Cor. 3:4-6).
But if no one can keep the law, then why try?
The Rich Young Ruler tried, because anyone in this Jewish culture would be stoned if he didn’t keep the law! No one would dare do that!
Jesus, on the other hand, taught something very different. John 1 tells us: “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17 NIV). We have, therefore, a choice to make: Either we try to work our way into Heaven by the law of Moses, or we can enter in through grace.
But who is to say which is better?
For starters, the law was given by a servant of the most High God, Moses. That seems like a pretty reliable source. However, grace came through Jesus Himself…(See John 1:17; 2 Cor. 3:4-6). What higher standard could there be?
Jesus left Heaven and entered the womb of Mary so many years ago with one mission: To bring grace to humankind. He did so by His unjust death on the cruel cross. He had never hurt anyone, for He is completely and thoroughly love. He died an unjust death so that we, the ones who deserve His death, could live. That is grace! That is love! That is Jesus!
Even if we sin, we cannot lose that grace for grace cannot change. We are saved by the blood of Jesus and nothing else: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)
Thanks to Jesus Christ and His perfect gift of love and grace, begun as a tiny baby on this earth and brought it its grand finale at the cross, we are no longer strangers to God. Consider the following: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household…” (Eph. 2:19 NIV); and “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…” (Gal. 3:26 NIV).
So we are children of God!
Think about it: Would we want our children to obey our rules because they have to? Or would we prefer that they obey the house rules because they respect us?
Of course it is the later, and God is no different. He never wanted His children to be legalists. That was not His way. Rather, Jesus willingly died for us and was resurrected on the third day. Through Jesus, we are saved! He is our Saviour!
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2 NIV). You are saved when you accept Jesus. Our heavenly Father will be with you, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well. Yahoo!
When did grace come down? That star-filled night in Bethlehem when Jesus was born in that manger because there was no room for Him in the inn. Will you stop trying to work your way into Heaven? Will you accept His gift of Salvation today?
(To access the entire “When Grace Came Down” devotional series, please click here.)