The Law and Grace. Day sixty-four...
Every prisoner around the world knows what it feels like to be under the thumb of the law. The law was responsible for taking away his or her freedom. In other words, he or she would not be incarcerated, but for the law.
To see someone walk out of federal or a state prison should indicate a step back into freedom. But the recidivism rates here in the United States indicate otherwise. When people don't change their mind about crime, they can't experience freedom.
Many, if not most, Christians know what it feels like to be under the thumb of God's law—to be under the condemnation of believing that our performance is what makes us right with God.
But to just to walk out from under the law without understanding either the intent of God's law or the wonder of God's grace, does not set anyone free.
It is not our performance that makes us right with God. It is our position.
And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:37–39 NKJV)
Prior to this event in the life of Christ, our performance was all we had to make us right with God—either our obedience to God's laws when we could obey them, or our sacrifices and offerings when we couldn't.
The Old Testament has beautiful references to our position in relationship to the Lord:
Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. (Deuteronomy 28:1 NKJV)
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:1–4 NKJV)
But such references to our position in relationship to the Lord were types and shadows of what actually happened on the Cross.
When Jesus breathed His last breath in the likeness of man, we breathed our first breath as men and women who could literally move into our proper position in relationship to the Lord.
The temple veil was torn in two. Mortal man could now see into the Holy of Holies—could actually walk into the Holy of Holies without being destroyed by God's presence.
Of course, I can't imagine very many people, upon hearing that the Ark of the Covenant was now exposed, just running in and throwing themselves on the presence of the Lord. The memory of instant death under the Law surely would have still been very strong.
But that's exactly what should have happened then.
And that's exactly what should be happening now.
Today, we don't have the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies to throw ourselves upon. But we do have the presence of the Lord readily available.
Instead, however, we run around outside of and apart from His presence, believing this is freedom from the law. But this is not freedom. And this is not grace.
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11 NKJV)
Have a good day,