Saturday, February 22, 2014

"The Gift and the Cost"

      The thinking, feeling Christian possesses two sensibilities regarding God's forgiveness.  First, we rejoice in the freely given pardon He provides through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  "I have trusted in Thy mercy.  My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation" (Psalm 13:5).  We solemnly remember, however, the cost of such gracious pardon.  "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (I Peter 3:18).

    We do not blithely ask for forgiveness when seeking it through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus.  We make our request in great confidence, determining to "come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy, and to find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).  God desires to forgive us more than we desire to be forgiven.  "He delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18).  Nevertheless, we come in remembrance always of the cost.  Our Savior suffered more than we can imagine suffering to involve.  We've never hurt like He hurt on the cross of Calvary, either emotionally or physically.  "His visage was so marred more than any man" (Isaiah 52:14).  The Lord Jesus was smitten and forsaken by His Father as He bore our sins, thus breaking His heart even as the wrath of God ravaged His entire being.  "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?!" (Matthew 27:46).

    No supplicant lightly approaches the throne of grace who realizes and remembers the sacrifice that constitutes the grace of the throne.  Yes, we come rejoicing that we can come, but sorrowful that we must.

I come to You, o Lamb of God,
for the mercy You provide.
I see the wounds of Calvary
in Your hands, Your feet, Your side.

And the mars bring to remembrance
the sorrows of that Day.
They also give assurance
of free and boundless grace.

So I come with joy unspeakable,
"Forgiven!" I gladly cry.
But I will not fail to remember
the bloody sacrifice

That purchased my redemption,
that  made forgiveness free.
I come to You, o Lamb of God,
The Gift and the Cost I see.

"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped Him that liveth forever and ever."
(Revelation 5:9-14)

Weekly Memory Verse
  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
(Psalm 126:5)

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