Grace is what God does… faith, belief, these are the things that are part of our “mustard seed” response to God’s offer. If we respond in faith it results in a “new birth” or the “beginning of the salvation journey.”
One thing that is a common thread between the newest most immature babe in Christ, and the most mature, gray-haired, lifelong, pious, saint, a sense of unworthiness and indebtedness to Christ.
Hebrews 12:1-3 – Why Jesus went to the cross in a nutshell… He had grace on His mind, He had us on His mind. The cross was a horrible Roman instrument of torture and shame. For Christians, though it is a very different thing now, it is now a symbol of grace and redemption.
Philippians 2:1-11 – Jesus, God’s only son, planned and chose to submit Himself to death… even death on a cross. We don’t understand totally all the details of why, but we do know that Jesus did it voluntarily. From the very foundations of the world, Jesus planned to offer Himself as a sacrificial lamb on the cross.
Satan must have thought that things were going according to plan during the week leading up to Easter. The disciples were in flight, the leaders of Israel were becoming more and more belligerent in their hatred for Jesus. Everything was looking “really good” from satans perspective. Obviously, and thankfully, he turned out to be wrong…
Why death on a cross? It was one of the worst ways for a person to die in those days, it was the “best” that Satan could come up with. Yet Jesus chose to accept death in this terrible way.
John 12:32 – Jesus was looking down from the cross, looking to lift the people he was seeing up, looking to lift us up.
There were two men crucified with Jesus. They were very real men, they had real feelings, and they were facing real consequences for things they had done. They were being punished for the kind of life they had been living.
We need grace for life. God’s grace was poured out in a huge measure that day on the cross. We want to be thankful people for Him and what He did and does in our life.
Did you ever stop to think that God is going to be as pleased to have you with Him in Heaven as you are to be there? – A. W. Tozer