Mercy but at Great Cost

1 Pet 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Especially when we are going through trials, it is easy to gloss over a passage such as this and move on.  Peter is marveling at the glory of God and the mercy that God has extended to us.  So often we take that mercy for granted and focus on the prize of eternal life and salvation.  So often, I think, we go about our lives, living for the moment, without truly grasping how great the cost that was paid for that mercy to be available to us.

Jesus willingly chose to humble Himself for us.

Phil 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

No man, not the nails, nor anything else in the entire created world had the power to make Him endure the trials He went through and keep Him on the cross, much less put Him there.  His love for us was the only thing that drove Him to endure such excruciating pain and torment that no man can even comprehend.  Once on the cross, all the wrath of God for the sins of every human being ever created for all of human history-past, present, future- was unleashed on Jesus.

It is no wonder He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!” Yet, because of that sacrifice, God’s mercy and forgiveness can now be extended to us, who have given God such great pain by our rejection of His authority in our lives.  Because Jesus felt the pain of God forsaking Him on the cross, we can embrace the promise that God gave to Moses, to Joshua and to those who are just and righteous.

Ps 37:28  For the LORD loves justice;  he will not forsake his saints.  They are preserved forever,  but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

We are only seen by God as just and righteous if we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness.  That only happens if we have humbled ourselves before God; admitted in our hearts before and to God that we are sinful and have no hope of saving ourselves by anything we could ever do in our own strength; having believed that Jesus died on the cross to pay the full penalty for our sin; and having repented of the sin to which we have been enslaved, and calling the Lord Jesus our new master, Lord, and Savior by the power of His resurrection.  If Jesus is our Lord and savior, by faith in His name, God’s grace is extended to us and He no longer sees us in our sin, but through the filter of Christ’s righteousness.

2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

When our lives on this world come to an end, we will all be judged for how we used the time God has given us.  Anyone who does not humbly accept the free gift of salvation offered by God through the sacrifice of Jesus is still in their sin and still subject to the wrath of God for their sin and will be forced to endure eternal separation from God for an eternity of pain, suffering, and torment in Hell, where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Every individual must decide for themselves.  Our lives in this world are short and insignificant compared with an eternity of either God’s glory and share in Christ’s inheritance or Hell’s torment and suffering.  We never know when that end will come, so decide today.

 

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