(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:Romans 5:15-19
(13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
(14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
(15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
(16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
(17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
(18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
(19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
These verses point us to grace – God’s unmerited favour to sinners. What an amazing theme this is! ‘Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.’
Put simply, God’s grace is him giving to us what we don’t deserve. All we have as Christians – salvation, forgiveness, communion with God, eternal life – is given to us through the grace of God.
Even more incredibly, this grace is free. It does not cost us anything, nor can we earn it. It is the free gift of God, given to his chosen people. And don’t forget these are people who have rebelled against him, broken his law, rejected him as king and done so many sinful things it would be impossible to list them.
We are so thankful for free grace, yet often how glibly we talk about it. The passage in Romans also tells us that ‘the gift of grace…is by one man, Jesus Christ‘. Do we forget sometimes that even though grace is free to us, it only comes to us because the Lord Jesus paid a great price. ‘Ye are brought with a price‘. For him it was phenomenally costly.
This Easter, reflect on Jesus’s sufferings and the great cost of our salvation.
- Think on Gethsemane – The Garden – The sheer magnitude of what he would shortly have to endure weighed down on the Lord Jesus, oppressing his body, mind and spirit.
And he … began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith… My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death:.. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground… (Mark 14:33-35)
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:44)
- Think on Gabbatha – The Judgement Seat – He was mocked, he was beaten, he was spat on, he was humiliated, he was scourged, he was crowned with vicious thorns.
(27) Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.Matthew 27:27-30
(28) And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
(29) And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
(30) And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
- Think on Golgotha – The Cross – Jesus was crucified, an agonising execution flanked by criminals. The nails tore at his hands and feet. His mouth was dry. To be crucified was to be cursed, to be the worst of the worst. More than this he took on his holy, pure self, all the myriad sins of all his people. Then carrying this load, he endured the forsaking of his beloved Father. Finally Jesus died – although in himself sinless, he suffered the ultimate punishment for sin.
(1) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?Psalm 22:1, 14-16
(14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
(15) My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
(16) For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
At Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha, the Lord Jesus suffered spiritually, he suffered physically, all to a degree that we can never comprehend, and for one end – to save his people from their sins, to rescue them from the wrath of God.
So, absolutely, rejoice in God’s gift of free grace. Yet never forget it was bought for us by the Lord Jesus at great cost to himself.
He is worthy!
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.1 Corinthians 6:20
Therefore praise the Saviour, with your spirit and with your body. Worship him, live for him and look forward with hope to joining the multitude which no man can number in heaven singing that new song –
‘Thou art worthy … 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.’ (Romans 5:9-10)[A00153 – 02/04/2021]