Matchless Grace

Luke 22:20

20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.  – Luke 22:20

Here, in Luke 22:20, we see both the severity of God’s hatred of sin, and His unfathomable love demonstrated.  On one hand, we see the terrible reality that yours and my sin is so severe, so rebellious and so exceedingly sinful that it cannot be forgiven without the shedding of blood.  And God hates sin so much that He was willing to pour His wrath out upon His only Son to atone for it.  God, by nature, is Holy, Just and Righteous, mankind by nature is sinful and wicked to the very core.  The two natures could not be further opposed to one another.  And because God is perfectly Just, not only does He hate sin and the sinner that commits it (Psalm 5:5), He will also punish sin wherever it is found.  God’s standard is perfection, and mankind is far from that standard.  As such, every man, woman and child on earth are enemies of God through wicked works.  What then is God to do with sinful man?  He can’t just let us go free without payment.  That would be against His Good and Just nature.  Justice demands retribution.  And the retribution (payment) for sin is death.  Without a mighty work of God, every one must pay for sin with their own blood.  And that payment is the eternal death in hell.  That is the level of God’s hatred of sin…it cannot be forgiven without the payment of death.  On the other hand, we see the matchless love of God displayed in the same verse.  Retribution demands blood, but God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, declares that he will willingly take the penalty of mankind’s sin upon Himself.  The Perfect One exchanging His life for the sinful.  Literally, the Lord dying in place of those who hate and despise Him.  That is love the world cannot duplicate.  As we consider this night, that Jesus willingly laid His life down on behalf of sinful man, let us consider the incredible implications of our Saviors love and sacrifice.  First, Christ’s blood confirms the promise of the New Covenant.  We do not hold fast to a Savior that fell short of completing the work the Father sent Him to accomplish.  If you are in Christ through repentance and faith and have been born-again by the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, then your salvation is secured and sealed by the fully atoning blood of Jesus!  God has made a covenant with you through His own terms and blood.  And He does not go back on a promise!  Rejoice in this truth!  Next, the blood of Christ covers our iniquities.  One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that the blood of Christ is sufficient to forgive us of all sin…past, present and future.  We are covered with the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and when God looks upon you, pitied sinner, He no longer sees your sin, but He see’s the righteousness of Christ that has been granted to your account through repentance and faith.  That is why there is now therefor no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!  Because of the grace of God and the blood of Christ, you are no longer under the penalty and wrath of God!  Do you truly understand the magnitude of God’s grace in Christ?  You and I never deserved God’s forgiveness, we could not, and even still cannot earn God’s favor.  There is nothing you or I could ever do to believe enough, serve enough, try enough, obey enough or atone enough for our own sin.  Even as Christians, by our own actions we are daily reminded of our woeful indifference to God, our lack of trust of Him, our wandering devotion to obey Him and our outright rebellion at times!  And yet…God’s grace and mercy never run dry.  Through the blood of Christ and the Gospel terms He gives us what we don’t deserve…salvation.  God’s matchless grace has never been nor ever will be about what we have done or can do…it has always been and always will be about what Jesus did when He poured out His life on behalf of sinners like you and me!  Find encouragement in this truth; He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor John