“And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
– John 1: 16-17
“It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Those words echo on this Holy Week, as we commemorate and contemplate what He finished – and what it means. As well as the work we still need to finish.
I imagine watching our Savior with bated breath, as His hands were outstretched and nailed to that cruel cross on Calvary. I imagine all of heaven crying as He gave His all – His blood, His heart, His life. His fullness was a vicarious gift, to atone for the sins of mankind. I imagine we felt a similar mixture of feelings as we do today – deepest sorrow for His suffering as well as inexpressible gratitude and joy for His grace-filled effects.
I freely admit that for me, that word grace – a word I cling to, and hope for, and aim to live by and live with – is still one of my “mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1). On the other hand, I comprehend glimpses of grace. I know it’s available in everyday moments, as well as heavy heartaches. I feel it working in my life … enabling me to do things I can’t do alone. I feel it wash away dark pains and stains so I become new, and can continue my imperfect progression. If I stand back, I can see His grace transforming me. Yet … I still don’t fully understand it or how it works.
And guess what … I’ve decided that’s ok for now … because here’s what I do know:
Christ has done the work. It is finished. His fullness of grace is readily available. His hands – those hands opened and nailed to the cross – remain open and scarred for us. And now it’s our work to open our own hearts and hands, to fill them with Him.
We do that little by little, as we choose to spend more time learning and living His word and will. It’s by our daily decisions that we pull our tightly closed fists and hearts outward, opening our rebellious grip. Finger by finger. Step by step. Grace by grace. We can reach out for His hands that are already reaching to us. In this slow, steady manner our understanding will enlighten and we’ll become whole-hearted partakers of grace.
So, if you’re like me and grace seems so humungous and all-encompassing that it’s hard to fully grasp – it’s ok for now – simply open your hand and grasp His. His strength and power will do the rest … because guess what …. that’s exactly what grace is!
The invitation: Intentionally grasp onto His hands more this week – perhaps by increasing time in His word or a by more exact submission to His will. Loosening our grip on life, little by little, enables us to hold His hand and grace more fully.
For further study:
Psalms 84:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Romans 6:15 “What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
Romans 5:2 “ … but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”