Today, in joining with people across the globe to observe Good Friday and remember our Savior's last day, I am reminded that my kind and gentle sister Mary once pointed out to me that an explanation is not necessarily an excuse.
Then Jesus said,
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
~ Luke 23:34 (NKJV)
It seems to me that in asking for mercy on behalf of sinners He loved, Jesus offered His Father an explanation with making excuse.
We tend to confuse the two and too easily offer explanation for how we come to commit sin. We may take a measure of solace in knowing that "to err is human." When placing blame, it lands comfortably upon the provocation of someone else, whether mortal or demon.
Whatever explanation we might offer, God's Word says we "are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-21).
Perhaps worse, none of us even begins to comprehend the severity of our sin or the extent of its effects.
It's been said that the surest proof of the existence of Hell (and therefore how very bad sin is) may be found in the fact that Jesus died horrifically to save us from God's wrath against sin.
It stands to reason that the death of Jesus, extreme as it was, is of greater magnitude than even such immense sin. And it follows that the love of God outweighs them both.
"And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' "
~ Luke 18:13 (NKJV)
Putting faith in Christ is to be excused for inexcusable sin and discover a chasm of gratitude. Growing in Christ is both learning how to sin less and seeing our sin all the more.
Dear Father, thank You for Your great love and mercy and perfect justice. Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing this to us.
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Copyright 2013, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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