Our world works on the idea that you get what you deserve or you get what you work for. Our world says the early bird gets the worm. No pain no gain. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Our world says it is motivation that starts you, habit that keeps you going and hard work that ensures success. We live in a world that says work hard, you get what you earn.

But God flips that all on it’s head and says if you trust in me you don’t get what you deserve. Because of what Jesus has done on the cross and the grace shown there I don’t get what I deserve. I deserve punishment and I get forgiveness. I deserve wrath and I get love. I deserve guilt and shame and yet I get a blank slate. I deserve God to be angry at me and yet he loves me with a perfect love because I am adopted as his son. I deserve nothing from his hand and I get a banquet.

You see God doesn’t work like our world does and yet we have this idea of God who works exactly like our world does. A lot of us think that God is like an angry boss of the universe who when we don’t make our spiritual and moral numbers he is angry. Or he is like a father who only will point out what we do wrong and how we don’t measure up. But that is not that god of the Bible at all. He is more like a boss, who when you or I stuff up a massive project that he has been working on, bears the guilt and shame of it from the board of directors and then gives us a company paid holiday even though we have stuffed everything up. Some of you are thinking that would never happen, there would never be a boss who is that crazy. But can you see tat this ridiculous story is getting at the crazy love of God.

One of the most scandalous stories in the Bible is the story of Hosea.  God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute and he does and he tells her that when she whores herself out on the street corners to love and forgive her. Can you imagine that? God is not saying that it is cool for marriages to be open. He is trying to show us the scandal of grace.Through Hosea, God is trying to say that his love and forgiveness and grace is like a man who keeps loving and forgiving his wife who is selling herself for next to nothing for anyone. God keeps loving and forgiving and pouring out his grace.

But this grace is baffling isn’t it? It is truly scandalous if you get it. But it also seems unjust. How can a murderer and adulterer like King David just get off scot-free? How can a person who was killing Christians with all the zeal of a member of Isis, Like the apostle Paul was, just be forgiven? How can you and I with all our guilt and shame be forgiven? With all those ways we have hurt others does God just sweep them under the carpet? No He deals with them.

Grace is not some “grandfatherly display of niceness for it cost him the infinite price of Calvary!”[1] For justice to be given someone had to pay either Jesus could judge us or take the punishment himself. He chose the cross and there he took the punishment we deserve.

“In the move The Last Emperor, the young child anointed as the last emperor of China lives a magical life of luxury with a thousand eunuch servants at his command. “What happens when you do wrong?” his brother asks. “When I do wrong, someone else is punished,” the boy emperor replies. To demonstrate, he breaks a jar, and one of the servants is beaten. In Christian theology, Jesus reversed that ancient pattern: when the servants erred, the King was punished. Grace is free only because the giver himself has borned the cost.”[2] Grace costs us nothing but it cost him everything.

You may also like:

What Makes Great Preaching Great? Part 3: Grace

Grace is Being Loved When You Are Unlovable

Grace Means You’ve Got Nothing to Prove

[1] Phillip Yancey, What’s so amazing about grace?, 67

[2] Phillip Yancey, What’s so amazing about grace?, 67

Please follow and like us: