This Is Grace
Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Many have read the novel or seen the film Les Misérables. It begins with paroled convict Jean Valjean stealing a priest’s silver. He is caught, and he expects to be returned to the mines. But the priest shocks everyone when he claims he had given the silver to Valjean. After the police leave, he turns to the thief, and says, “You belong no longer to evil, but to good.”
Such extravagant love points to the love that flowed from the fountain from which all grace comes. On the day of Pentecost, Peter told his audience that less than two months before, in that very city, they had crucified Jesus. The crowd was crushed and asked what they must do. Peter replied, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . .” (Acts 2:38). Jesus had endured the punishment they deserved. Now their penalty would be forgiven if they put their faith in Him.
Oh, the irony of grace. The people could only be forgiven because of Christ’s death; a death they were responsible for. How gracious and powerful is God! He has used humanity’s greatest sin to accomplish our salvation. If God has already done this with the sin of crucifying His Son Jesus Christ, we may assume there is nothing He cannot turn into something good. Trust the One who “in all things . . . works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
Dear Father, thank You for Your extravagant love that rescued me from my sin. Please take all my fears and help me to trust You, and share with others this wonderful news. In Christ I pray. Amen.