I woke up late yesterday which usually starts a domino effect. Breakfast is late. School starts late. I am cranky. The kids are cranky. But, yesterday was different. I was tired from a restless night, one of the kids had a rough start. Then, GRACE.
My prayer time was shortened, so it wasn’t because of putting my time in with God. My breakfast plan was altered- toasted bagels replaced pancakes and sausage – so it wasn’t my gourmet cooking that impressed God. I didn’t do anything great or good.
I just asked for help. GRACE-God’s unmerited favor.
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming first when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16
I didn’t do anything to deserve to receive grace. I failed. If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This week, I have been praying for a deeper revelation of the cross. Not the actual wooden cross. The Romans crucified the masses on a daily basis. I put too much emphasis on the two sticks. I wear them around my neck- a symbol of a barbaric death, a reminder of Christ’s suffering. Shouldn’t I wear an empty tomb? Isn’t that the real meaning of Easter? Christ is risen? He conquered death hell, and the grave. He rose again. He suffered an agonizing death, taking my sins upon Himself, and by His stripes, His wounds, I am healed.
Back to GRACE. The kids and I watched Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ, I was impressed by how intensely personal Judah Ben Hur’s relationship with Jesus was. When Judah, enslaved by the Roman Empire and taken away in chains for a crime he did not commit, Jesus gives him a drink of water in answer to a desperate prayer. Jesus, God incarnate, gave the prisoner-slave a drink of water.
Our relationship with Jesus can be as intensely personal. That is message of the film, the message of the gospel and my message today. Isn’t it amazing? Easter is for every human the face of the planet. The heavy veil of the temple has been ripped in two. We no longer have to wait for a priest to enter the holy of holies. We can each boldly approach the throne of grace. The Word made flesh who dwelt among us wants to have a personal relationship with each one us. Intensely personal. Get- you- a- drink- of -water- personal.
Later in the film, Judah follows Jesus as he carries the cross and when Jesus falls, he rushes towards him with a drink. Man gives flesh-wearing Word a drink. The Holy God humbled himself and took on the form of a servant. WE are to do the same. Rush towards the throne of grace, find what we need just in time. Grace gives us the power to do what He has called to do. That’s what I needed. Grace to overcome my weakness and do what God has called me to do. Love cranky children. Read history. Give a spelling test. Check math. Prepare food. Fold laundry.
Two thousand years has not watered down the power of the gospel. It is not an old message. It is new every morning, just like His mercies. Are you weary? Heavy laden? Struggling? Do your days fall over like dominoes? Each one as frustrating and meaningless as the one before? Come unto Jesus. Just cry out to him. He will hear.