This evening, I gave a midweek Lenten message at Grace Episcopal Church. It was a relatively small group, about 15 in number, but very big in grace and the power of the Spirit. I felt good about what I said, but more importantly, I came away with an overwhelming sense of encouragement at how ordinary people can come together and create an extraordinary experience while focusing on something as off-beat culturally as our need for the salvation.
One of the things that strikes me about the cross this year is the incredible exchange that took place. Jesus took our place so that we could take His place. He traded places with us. For example, Jesus took our sins and he gave us His righteousness. People that don’t see the need for the blood don’t see either the holiness of God nor the sinfulness of humanity.
Without the sinfulness of humanity, the atonement would not have been necessary. Without the incarnation, the atonement would not have been possible. Without the holiness of God, the atonement would not have been called for. Without the love of God, the atonement would not have taken place.
This perspective brought tears of appreciation from somewhere down deep during the celebration of communion. The idea of Someone so good making such an enormous sacrifice on my behalf is a bit overwhelming.