The Grace of the Cross


 On this weekend as we reflect on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, my heart is gripped by the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice, the depths of his obedience, the riches of his gift, and the disconcerting path God chose for our redemption. And I am drawn to reflect on the grace of the cross.

Jesus, declaring the purposes of his earthly ministry, stood up in the synagogue (Luke 4:18) amidst the religious systems of his day and proclaimed that his heart was for the poor, the brokenhearted, those bound in sin, the ones blinded, and the oppressed. Foretastes of grace reverberated throughout the atmosphere; the rumbles began, as Jesus declared that the prophecy of Isaiah 61 was being fulfilled.

Some three years later as he hung on the cross, the deal was sealed. Grace became ours. It was a scandalous thought then and remains offensive to many. How could such pain and suffering secure our healing? And yet, this truth stands, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed,” (1 Peter 2:24).

What grace is ours!

Haldor Lillenas penned these words in 1918:

Wonderful  grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin; How shall my tongue describe it. Where shall its praise begin? Taking away my burden, Setting my spirit free, For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace, the matchless grace of Jesus, Deeper than the mighty rolling sea; Wonderful grace, all-sufficient for me, for even me.

 Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain, all sufficient grace for even me.

 Broader than the scope of my transgressions, Greater far than all my sin and shame; O magnify the precious name of Jesus, Praise His name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching to all the lost, By it I have been pardoned, Saved to the uttermost. Chains have been torn asunder, Giving me liberty, For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.  

Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching the most defiled, By its transforming power Making him God’s dear child. Purchasing peace and heaven for all eternity– And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

The grace of God came securing for us all we need to be happy, healthy, and holy, and the grace of God still comes because he was nailed to the cross, cancelling out our debts, healing our hearts, freeing us from the weight of the law (Colossians 2:14).

What beauty!

Do you find yourself in need of grace today? (And we all do.) It’s already been given. It’s yours. It’s mine.

Find yourself at the foot of the cross today, gaze at grace and truth. Receive forgiveness based on His gift, not your own worth. And allow that grace to change you, transforming you into his image.

That, my friend, is true worship (Romans 12:1). 

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  1. Grace. It’s all through scripture, isn’t it? I’m writing a lesson on the two blind beggars now (Matt. 20 and Luke 18). In the Matt. 20 version of it, the two blind beggars follow the story of the mother and two sons who ask for seats of power next to Jesus. Then, the two beggars who ask for mercy (or grace). The first two guys get disappointed – they are not going to get the power they seek. The second set of guys get mercy – Jesus heals their blindness.

    Without His grace, we would have nothing. Good post.

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