God loves us unconditionally. He doesn’t just love us when we are good; He loves us all the time. Remember that song we use to sing as children? Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to him belong, they are weak but He is strong  It’s true; the Bible radiates grace on every page. The love of God jumps out to us always beckoning for us to trust and accept His kindness and mercy.

When Jesus hung on the cross He carried the weight of all our sins on His shoulders. Think about that for a moment. All the sins you have ever committed, all the sins you commit daily and all the sins you will ever commit Jesus carried to the cross. There are Christians who seek to live a perfect life, and though this is commendable it is not possible. Jesus lived a sinless life, died without knowing sin so that He could be our substitute, because we can’t live without sinful thoughts and actions. The Bible well points out the wages of sin is death, but it also points out that Jesus died that death for us.

“And you He made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and made us sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:1-6 There is nothing in this passage that recommends us to God, in fact God reached down and saved us while we were still living in sin and rebellion. Of course when we come to Christ our attitudes and actions change because we walk with Christ, but there is no merit in our faith, trust or daily walk with Christ. Christ has done it all. He made us alive by His great mercy that poured out from His passionate love for us. By His grace we are saved and raised up with Him to sit in the Heavenly places.

Paul cries out to us, “HE destined us in love to be HIS sons through JESUS CHRIST, according to the purpose of HIS will, to the praise of HIS glorious grace which HE freely bestowed on us in the BELOVED. In HIM we have redemption through HIS blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of HIS grace which HE lavished upon us.” Ephesians 1:5-8 (Emphases supplied) Notice God’s work on our behalf. We are only recipients of the wonders of God’s love and grace. We are destined to be His sons. We are recipients of His glorious grace which is freely given to us through the Beloved (Jesus).  We have redemption through the blood of Christ shed on Calvary’s cross. Our sins are forgiven because of the richness of God’s grace and that grace is lavished upon us. I get goose bumps just typing these words. When we read these passages throughout the Bible it is no wonder that Christians want to rejoice and praise God!

Why people want to be in bondage to the law, continually striving to show God that they are worthy of redemption when God has freely given salvation to all who believe is beyond me. At the cross Jesus carried the penalty and guilt of our sins and He freely forgave us for those sins. His perfection of perfectly keeping God’s laws satisfied the demand for justice and when we accept Christ that perfect keeping of the law is accredited to our account. When the father looks down from heaven He sees us through the filter of Jesus love, compassion and perfection. He sees us as perfect because He sees us through the grace and mercy of Jesus.  When we throw ourselves upon the mercy of God, we are declared righteous. “We who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory. In Him you also who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and have believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1: 12-14

You and I are thieves on the cross. One in selfish desperation cried out, “Save yourself and us,” while the other rebuked him for his outburst by confessing, “do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And He (Jesus) said to him, “truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  Luke 23: 39-43 a simple confession that we justly receive our due reward for sin is all God asks. In our awareness that we are dying in sin we need only call out to God, “remember me,” and God answers through the blood and tears of Calvary, “today you will be with me in Paradise.”