GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing?
You and I share a common reality. Our soul lives in a human body.
Blood runs through your veins as it does through mine. Should either of us cease to breathe our soul makes an immediate exit. We both are vulnerable to sickness, pain, decay, and faulty memory.
It is difficult (next to impossible) for either of us to list the details of what happened one year ago. Memory lacks freshness. It seems the farther back we go the less accurate is our recall.
Six decades ago, I was 14 years old. I remember my older sister’s wedding when my brother and I inherited her larger bedroom. It was also the year I enrolled in driver’s training and the year I failed algebra (I got it the next year).
To recall much more than that, I would have to research school albums, family letters, interview my brother and sisters, a few aged relatives, and a handful of living classmates and town folks scatter across who knows where.
The point is I am only sixty years removed and the accuracy of my view of my fourteenth year of life is lost to the fog of distance time.
One Sunday as a visitor in a distant city bible class my ears perked up when one of the longtime resident members made this observation: “Surely, it must have been easier for first century people to believe in Jesus and the message of the apostles since so many of them witnessed the miracles.”
My guess is at some point you have thought—if not expressed—a similar statement. I confess it has come to my mind more than once. (Somehow, I fail to think about those who saw signs and miracles and did not believe.)
Here is my dilemma. I am now in the twenty first century after the cross event and its’ beam of grace which caught the attention of first century believers. I did not experience the unfiltered testimony of grace given to and preached by the apostles. Nor did I meet those who were at Calvary and present on the day of Pentecost.
Over two-thousand years of Church history interpretation by humans along with the parade of countless cultural influences, separate me from the newness of cross-grace. Does that fact alone cause me to take more lightly than I should what happened on a hill outside of the gates of Jerusalem? Is grace distorted in my mind due to the fog and distance of time?
Here is what I am thinking.
God is more aware than I am that I live two millennia down the timeline from the cross event. But, through his timeless lens I am as close to the cleansing power of the Calvary event as was the first person who responded to Peter’s sermon with the cried, “What must I do to be saved?”
Time past should not influence my response. The gift of the grace provided from the cross is the same to me and you as it was to all first century followers.
Through his Holy Spirit, the Father and Son are present in my “now” time frame in the same nearness the Holy made available to the first believers who accepted the grace-gift and responded through baptismal waters.
If my view of the cross is distant it is because my view of the cross is distorted.
Let us trust God’s time zone and accept his here and now grace. It is always available in present tense.
Don’t you think that makes grace still as amazing today as it was when offer to those who called for Jesus’ death?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Is My View of Cross-Grace Too Distant?