Fling a stone of condemnation. Judge the sinner. Reject the fallen. Avoid the sinful. Withdraw into self-righteous smugness with a condescending smirk. We see all of these traits among the people of God in the Bible. That’s when we reach for a verbal rock and toss it. If we are wise, we will catch ourselves, drop it and thank God for His grace.
We are the sinner. As unpleasant as it is to admit that, it is the truth. The vast gulf between us and the holy God is impossible to measure, and His grace is the only hope we have of spanning the distance. Jesus brought that grace and extended the offer of salvation to all people. Until we come to grips with the true horror of sin and the absolute perfection of our Creator, we will never view grace as we should. It is genuinely amazing.
Grace came in the form of a common, ordinary human. No, neither of those adjectives are anywhere near the reality of who Jesus was, but he sure appeared that way. We read nothing of superior height or a handsome face. His physical appearance is never mentioned. His uncommon manner is. He was grace in action.
He was not naive. He knew what kind of people He attracted: sinners. The assumption among the self-righteous was that Jesus was simply ignorant of who was coming to Him (Luke 7:39). He wasn’t. He was fully aware that the woman showing such respectful love for Him had a shady history (Luke 7:47). He knows our histories, too.
Grace in a man’s body stepped into the world of sin to look for people exactly like that, just like you and me. Sin distort thoughts, hardens hearts and blinds eyes. People are lost and don’t realize it. He came to offer liberation from that bondage through a forgiveness that is beyond our understanding, and He brought it for everybody (Titus 2:11-14). A bridge of grace spans the chasm between the sinful and the Sinless. Amazing? That doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Grace includes instructions that will keep us from falling into the same self-destructive lifestyle that severed our connection with a benevolent Creator. It teaches us how to live in the here-and-now. It is not some pie-in-the-sky formula but real-world directions. It strengthens human relationships and heals broken ones. It is sensible, righteous wisdom from above. We are absolutely saved by grace, not only from the eternal consequences but also from its stranglehold on us right now. Amazing? You bet.
Jesus gave His life for His people, and we look with anticipation for His return. For those who have embraced that grace, it will be an unbelievable moment when the sky is filled with fire, angels and the Son of God coming to get us. He bought us. We are His. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound” will echo forever.