So lately, God has been showing me just what he did for us all through Jesus. In “Don’t Waste Your Life,” John Piper says that for redeemed sinners, “every good thing—indeed every bad thing that God turns for good—was obtained for us by the cross of Christ….[it] is meant to magnify Christ and him crucified.” Seriously. We deserve hell. That is all that God owes us. But when we accepted Christ into our hearts, we let all of God’s wrath that was stored up for us be poured out on Jesus. It is unfortunate that all those who don’t know Christ will have the wrath poured on them, even though it has been poured on Christ anyway. And with the cross—Jesus bought everything for us. Every breath we take, every pleasure in life, even the bad things that are turned to good—Jesus bought these things for us at the cross. I am going through the book of Jeremiah right now, and God’s wrath is evident. I heard someone say once (I’m sorry that I don’t remember who or where I heard it!) that for God, wrath is like a reflex to sin. I also think it is SO AWESOME that God is no longer wrathful to those who have accepted Christ in their hearts. You know why? Because when God looks at us, all he sees is the righteousness that Jesus passed on to us. Our sin is covered by Christ’s righteousness! Does anybody else just want to jump for joy or shout to the heavens at how awesome this is!?
There is more to this awesomeness. One of the “more” topics (there are many) is the simple fact that when we asked Christ into our heart, we not only had God’s wrath diverted from us, we were raised from the dead. “But how can that be, Anna? I’ve heard it elsewhere, but seriously. What does that even mean?” Well, thank you for asking. It means that you are dead to the world, and the world is dead to you. Steve McVey tells of a situation when a new Christian came to him and says that he still sinned, even though Jesus was living inside him now. He was even doubting if he’d changed! McVey asked him how he felt about smoking marijuana. “Miserable,” the man said. McVey asked him if he felt bad about smoking marijuana before he became a Christian. “Not really,” the man replied. “I wasn’t hurting anybody with it.” Guess why he felt bad about it now? Because he is a new person, alive in Christ! Woo! Sinning is not our nature anymore! And who cares what the world thinks!? Because it doesn’t care what you think! Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Ahh! It’s just so awesome.
And Christ lives in us now. I’ve heard the analogy before: would you rather be coached by Michael Jordan, or have Michael Jordan play through you? Yeah, that’s right. We have God’s word (the Bible) to help us and coach us, and Jesus is living through us! Sometimes I wish that I would have been with Jesus when he was walking the earth in his years of ministry, but I much prefer this. And you predicted what I was going to say about that: it’s awesome!
So! Because God loved us and didn’t want to keep punishing his people, he sent Jesus Christ to earth. Then, on the cross, all of God’s wrath was poured out onto Jesus. And now, because of that act of awesomeness, God doesn’t punish his people like he did in the Old Testament (before Jesus got to earth). And now, we are new people, dead to the world. And now, Christ lives (present tense!) in us. It is amazing, astonishing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, breathtaking, exalted, grand, glorious, impressive, magnificent, majestic, mind-blowing, moving, overwhelming, something else, striking, stunning, wonderful, and wondrous! (For this sentence you should thank Mr. Thesaurus. Or Jesus, because you were able to read it and somebody else put the Thesaurus together. It’s the little things, you know?)
Awe-filled at the aweomeness and smiling lots, Anna =)^2