I was listening to the radio recently and caught a brief meditation from pastor and teacher Greg Laurie. He was talking about the incredible sacrifice that Christ paid for our sins on the cross through the backdrop of a courtroom scene. Laurie asked the listener to imagine that they are on trial for the most grievous act of all: the incredible weight of the many sins committed throughout life.
Just as Laurie asked, I imagined myself in that courtroom.
The prosecuting attorney, Satan, stands in the front of the courtroom and proceeds to list each one of my sins. Minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, and days turn to years. When he finally finishes recounting my many sinful deeds, he says: “As you can see, Your Honor, Cassie has not followed God’s laws; in fact, she is the most sinful of them all.”
It is then that Jesus, my defense attorney, stands and faces the judge. “Dad,” He says, looking up at God the Father as Judge. “We all know that Cassie is guilty as has been recounted and the wages of sin is death. But I have come to save her and offer her the gift of eternal life. So with that being said, her debt is paid in full.”
“You are right, my Son,” God the Judge says in response. He bangs His gavel and declares, “Case dismissed!”
I have paraphrased the proceeding illustration to bring into focus one very important truth: Christ did come to save me. He came to save you as well when He gave up His life on a cross more than two thousand years ago. To think about that incredible sacrifice is humbling and often brings tears to my eyes.
The emotion was overflowing for me on Sunday morning as we as a church congregation explored the next chapter in our journey through The Story. We heard the Words from the Scriptures, saw the crucifixion scene played out for us on the screen, sang songs about His atoning sacrifice, and finally participated in the Lord’s Supper. All the while, I was reminded of the court scene relayed above.
How could God, through His Son, look down on me— a terrible sinner— and have such compassion and love that He would willingly go to the cross to redeem me? I look at the cross on which Jesus died and feel incredible grief and joy at the same time. I think of how He endured such pain and suffering on my behalf, and it pains me to think that my Best Friend experienced such sorrow. But at the same time, I think of the price that was paid for me, and my eyes fill with tears of gratitude. There are simply no words to adequately explain a love like this.
I think the writers of the song “Mystery,” performed by Kari Jobe and Gateway Worship, portray this mystery of grace in a way that poignantly identifies with the worshipper and listener. As I think about how God pursues His people throughout His story despite their brokenness and sin, I cannot find a better way to describe it, for it is simply a mystery. I would like to close with the lyrics of this song as a means of reflection for you, my readers.
George Thomas, Thomas Miller
© 2010 Gateway Create Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
God Eternal here today
Moving in unchanging ways
Far beyond the highest high
Closer than can be defined
You’re a mystery
Common human, clothed in splendor
Unending strength yet heart so tender
Born to die to free this slave
The beauty of amazing grace is a mystery
I see You move in unseen ways
Hear Your voice in the quiet place
I feel Your peace steal my breath away
You’re simply a mystery
So unlovely, still You love me
Needing You yet You pursue me
Loving me since time began
Such love I’ll never comprehend
To me the greatest mystery
Is You in love with me