This Easter as I reflect on the great love and grace that Jesus Christ displayed for me on the cross, I am amazed. I want to share something that was very moving and a great reminder of the message of Easter that I experienced this morning at my church (the Church at Brook Hills). The pastor, Dr. David Platt, was preaching out of Galatians 3: 13. He showed us through the Word a picture of the curse of the law. This is the curse under which we are all born. We are sinners under the wrath of a Holy God. He then went on to paint a picture of how Jesus Christ through the cross has taken upon Himself the wrath of God on our behalf. God used David to present a clear picture of the gospel. He gave everyone there three options of how to respond to the curse of sin:
- Option 1: Ignore the curse. – This means that we continue on with our lives and pretend like sin is not an issue and God does not exist.
- Option 2: Work to overcome the curse. – We can try to be a good person and reform our lives so that we no longer have a problem with sin. We can have a little Jesus to go along with our own church attendance, prayer, and Bible reading so that maybe we have a chance to work our way to righteousness before God. This is a false system and does not work because salvation is by grace ALONE through faith ALONE in Christ ALONE. If grace becomes Christ plus anything, it is no longer grace.
- Option 3: Embrace the curse and run to the cross. – We can embrace the fact that we are utterly hopeless and in desperate need of Jesus Christ. We can run to Jesus because He alone can save us.
This was a very clear picture of how we need to respond to the gospel. The service ended with a song about how the devil likes to condemn us for our sin. Satan tells us that we are hopeless, helpless, and dirty. But as the song said, the devil may have gotten the verse right, but he has missed the refrain – JESUS SAVES! As these powerful words were being sung over the church, the banners that had been the backdrop of the stage which said things like guilt, shame, and despair began to fall down. One by one as the words of victory – Jesus Saves – were proclaimed the words which represented the stains of sin were falling down. These all fell down to reveal a cross. The cross which was a symbol of defeat has become a picture of victory.
“‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15: 54b-57 NKJV