This week's lesson, The Cry For Pardon written by Erwin Lutzer, is a welcome reminder of how amazing Jesus Christ truly is. As you study be prepared for the flood of conviction to come as a result of being exposed to the Spirit of God. However, be prepared as well to be deeply encouraged and refreshed by the review of God’s amazing grace.
As I meditated on these lessons I was repeatedly reminded of a picture I have in my home named Forgiven. If you are not familiar with it I encourage you to take a look at it. Forgiven pictures Christ standing and supporting a young man in His arms. In the young man's hand is a hammer. The picture makes a profound statement about the forgiveness of our Lord Jesus. Guilty! It’s as if we drove the nails ourselves and yet for my gross sin I receive grace, encouragement, support, and more than these I receive salvation from the very sin that put Christ on that cross. I am reminded of the Apostle’s words in Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
I hate to think that my sin is the reason for the brutality of Christ crucifixion. But the truth is, until we take ownership of our sin we will never see through the ugliness and cruelty of the cross to the beauty of redemption and saving grace. Lutzer makes a piercing statement on day five; “where sin is not taken seriously, forgiveness is received too lightly.” I pray that as we examine the message of the cross this quarter we would grasp with new understanding the blackness of all sin, which in turn leaves us with a keen appreciation for the love of Christ.
I want to encourage you to spend time this week being honest with yourself in three areas. First, ask God to reveal any sin in your life. Lean on God for clarity, His opinion is the only one that matters, as we have already discovered the conscience of man will lead us astray. Secondly, as God reveals areas of sin in your life move swiftly to repent. There is no motivator like the fresh wind of forgiveness from God. Thirdly, share with those around you what God is doing in your prayer and study time. Your willingness to share with others the impact God is having in your life can be contagious among others who may be in need of their own encouragement.
In His Service,