Embraced by God's grace
January 27, 2014
by Pastor Keith Carlson, Evangelical Covenant Church, Dassel

“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” John 1:29

Sometimes, I wonder if I control the moments of my daily life, or if the “lists” drive my life. You know what I mean. Those inevitable lists: The “honey-do” list that always grows longer, the “have-to” list for the day, the “wish” list from your kids, and the “ought-to” list that stays in the back of your mind.

But there is one more “list” that is kept not by us, but by God – the list of mistakes that only God and I know exists. It is a list that God is able to make that contains the flaws, mistakes, or sins that exist in my heart.

It is always humbling when I am reminded of the “grace” of God, and that through Jesus – the Lamb of God – He has graciously removed that list of my sins.

As we picture Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was sent to be our sacrifice, we are confronted by this question: Did Jesus see our list of sins that day? The scriptures teach us that He certainly did, and He still chose to hang on the cross for you and me.

One author, Max Lucado, expresses it this way:

“As the soldier pressed his arm, Jesus rolled his head to the side, and with cheek resting on the wood, he saw the list, a long list. A list of our mistakes: our lusts, our lies, our greedy moments our prodigal years. A record of our sins . . . He saw the list! He knew the price of those sins was death. He knew the source of those sins was you and since he couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you, he chose the nails.

“This list of our sins cannot be read. Your failures are hidden – blotted out by the blood of God’s Son. That’s why Jesus didn’t resist. The nails were God’s idea. The hand that swung the hammer was the hand of God. And as the hands of Jesus opened for the nail, the doors of heaven opened for you.” (Excerpt from “He Chose the Nails” by Max Lucado.)

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Colossae, said, “He (God) canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.” (Colossians 2:14)

In this season, as we have entered into a new year, I want to encourage you to remember how much God loves you and the blessing of experiencing His grace. Remember that Jesus is the most precious gift ever given to us.

The “list,” yours and mine, was nailed with Jesus’ hands to the cross. It is evidence of being embraced by God’s grace, and He did it just for you and me.

Isn’t it worth giving Him your heart?

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