I present before you to options.
Option #1 is based upon rules, doing the right thing, following the Law to win favor. Let’s look at an example from Exodus 12 where the Israelites learn what they must do to celebrate Passover.
1. On the 10th day, take a lamb
2. One lamb per household
3. Small households must share a lamb
4. Determine the amount of lamb needed
5. Choose year-old male lamb without defect
6. Can choose sheep or goat
7. Take care of the lamb until 14th day
8. Slaughter the lamb at twilight
9. Place blood on side and tops of doorframe
10. Eat roasted meat with bitter herbs and unleavened bread
11. Meat may not be raw or boiled
12. Whole lamb must be roasted
13. Must burn all that is not eaten
14. Must eat with cloak tucked into belt, sandals on feed, staff in hand
15. Must eat in haste.
I can only imagine, as a mom, trying to remember all these rules for my family. I can see myself frantically checking to make sure my kiddos keep their shoes on! Are the kids eating fast enough? Did we do everything in the correct order?
Advance to 2014 and think of the rules we place upon ourselves.
1. Our kids must be well behaved in public.
2. Our house must be clean at all times.|
3. We must donate “x” amount of money to charity.
4. Our kids must be dressed cute and stylish.
5. We must provide healthy meals.
6. We must volunteer “x” amount of hours at church, our children’s schools, and non-profit organizations.
7. We are to be a “good” person.
8. We are to help others.
(This is very similar to the list I shared in my ebook!)
All to prove that we are good enough. Good enough by the world’s standards. Good enough for God to “like” us.
The Passover that the Israelites were to celebrate was a reminder of how God protected them in Egypt but it was also pointing them to the time when a Savior would come and save them from the grips of sin and death.
In an unexpected, unusual, and very un-kingly way, the world is introduced to Option #2. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus tore in two the curtain that separated us from God. No longer was the need for priests and animal sacrifices for forgiveness of sins. No longer was a list of rules required to come to God. The Great High Priest had come to bridge the gap between God and man.
Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—so that no one can boast.
Which option have you chosen?
Are you trying to be good enough to earn favor with God? Isaiah 64:6 compared our “righteousness” or works to “filthy rags.”
Or have you accepted the free gift of grace?
Sweet friends, stop trying to earn your way to God. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 30:28-30)
Amazing Grace…how sweet the sound…that saved a wretch like me…
Click to learn more about choosing Option #2 and grace.