Salvation is to me a flower in bloom, each passing day a new revelation of the beauty within. Pondering the many undeserved gifts God has bestowed through it moves me to tears. For the first 20 years of my life, though, I didn’t understand the emotion that came with Holy Week. I knew that Christ died so that I didn’t have to, and for that I was grateful. But emotional I was not.
God has a funny way of shaping His children. Many times the most difficult seasons in life become the fertile soil in which God plants a seed that bears fruit. These times allow us a deeper understanding of all that He offers through salvation. His sacrifice gives us not only eternal life later, but abundant life now; this is often a revelation only grasped when the temporary things of this world are peeled from our white knuckles.
I certainly don’t mean to cheapen the future hope we have in Christ- we will never ever grasp this side of heaven, and probably not even then, all that God will save us from when our physical bodies pass away. And if that was the entirety of salvation, it would be a gift so wonderful and incredible that no one, not even the best among us, deserves it. But the truth is, God went even beyond this.
As Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross, He purchased for us unhindered access to the Father. The temple curtain- the huge dividing wall that had been erected between God and His people- was torn completely in two. No longer is there a barrier. No longer must we earn our way into His presence.
“For through Him (Christ) we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Eph. 2:18).
Not only do we have access, but by some unfathomable downpour of His grace, we that believe have become his sons and daughters! An exceedingly good, all-powerful, and sovereign Father is working proactively on our behalf to bless us today and forever. And this is the part that I’ll never recover from.
His faithfulness stands when others betray us. His comfort goes on when no one understands our pain. His wisdom gives us direction when we would otherwise self-destruct. His gift of freedom releases us from chains of addiction that bind us, and His precious Word frees our minds and souls from the anxiety and despair that threaten to swallow us whole. His salvation has the power to restore our marriage, our children, our bodies, our souls. We have abundantly received His undeserved favor, provision, protection, and peace. Though He needs nothing from us, still He grants us His anointing and the joy of experiencing Him. His great love endures forever, and nothing will ever separate us from it.
In Christ and by His sacrifice on the cross, all of these promises and more are a roaring, “Yes!” The prophet Isaiah sums it up beautifully:
“The punishment that brought us peace [well-being, joy, prosperity, favor, health] was upon him (Christ), and by his wounds we are healed [cured, repaired, mended]” (Isaiah 53:5).