Thursday, August 18, 2016
Drawing Near by the Blood of God
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. 11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcised” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Our mothers were right. Who we hang out shapes the people we are. This insight drives my prayer life as the close I draw near to God, the more I am shaped by God in Christ Jesus. I find myself being pulled to forgiveness and to loving those around me. I found I am praying for those who have hurt me or I have called enemies. My heart softens and it softens toward not only them, but to my son and my wife and my co-workers. The spirit of our human culture tries to convince us to life for our own lusts and desires. Our desire for revenge is one of those most dangerous desires with which are are confronted and one that seems to be accepted by the world in general. Many a Hollywood movie has the avenging hero who is taking out revenge for the foul acts of others. I find this pull within myself. Yet, Jesus offers something different. By placing the glue of love, forgiveness at the heart of his ministry and Gospel. The Cross of Christ keeps us center on the power of forgiveness. Ephesians 2.13 arose within me this insight of drawing near to Jesus by his blood.
Revenge sounds good, but no matter the outcome, revenge with continue to devour us in sharp teeth. It as dangerous as another lustful desire. More so, in that it also allows to play God in the world. Today’s avenging act becomes the next act needing avenging. The terrorist attack because they are blinded by their need for revenge. The first rock through has lead to a rock fight that has been with us since the time of Cain. Jesus offers a way out. It is up to us to take the bloodied hand of Jesus and draw near by the power of forgiveness.