Pain varies in degrees of hurt and consequences. The only way I find to describe this level of pain is to say it left a hole in my soul. I know painful situations exist, but this one has to rate near the top of the list. The bleeding hole will turn to a scar. Yet, the scar will forever be present.
In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, the German Dietrich Bonhoeffer impresses upon the reader the incalculable cost paid by God to restore the garden by providing saving grace to the human race. Bonhoeffer warns against taking that gift lightly in the process of open rebellion against God. He calls it “cheap grace,” when I purposefully do wrong and expect God to overlook sinful action—as I rationalize the break I should receive by God’s grace. The grace I experience from God came at a great cost. Let me never purposefully make it cheap.
God sent his son Jesus to earth—as a little human baby—for taking upon his shoulders the complete and entire sin of the world. God, too, saw his son die. The pain was real for both Father and Son.
It was so hard there was no other way. Jesus died at the hands of recipients of his love. For a time he departed from the face of God and descended into the utter blackness of sin—the sin of all human kind—the sin to be covered by eternal holiness so the garden could be restored to its original holy state. In horror and pain, Jesus cried out to God. The Father had no choice. He had to forsake his Son and see him fall into the grave of sin. It was the most costly act of all of eternity.
For the past several days, I have reflected on God’s act on the cross and its meaning for how I live. God reflection is always limited by being a mere man. He shows me clues that lead me to know His magnificence is beyond my understanding. It is exactly for this reason of being hopelessly human while loving a God who is beyond my understanding that I want my life to flow from the cross.
This I believe to understand: I must not take lightly a grace offered to me at such a drastic cost by the Father and Son. It is OK to stumble and fail to meet God’s expectation for me—if in fact, it is my intent to meet God’s expectation. Costly grace always covers my weakness.
However, anytime I decide to follow my will—knowing my actions do not align to God’s wishes—but I assume His grace will cover my sinful act because of the cross, I devalue costly grace making it cheap. I cannot imagine how much that must disappoint God.
What is your reflection? Is your life lived in awe of costly grace or do you often attempt to make cheap God’s grace by cutting corners?
Stay tuned. – Gary Sorrells