“The whole is from him, the giving of these things and of those; for no achievement finds its source in us… Not then so as to deliver humankind from darkness only did he show his love toward him. It is a great thing indeed to have been delivered from darkness; but to have been brought into a kingdom too is far greater.”
Have you ever broken something? Perhaps you might have knocked over someone’s vase or smashed their car. Maybe you broke someone’s trust or heart. I’ve also broken many things throughout my life, including rules and my word. Things both trivial and tragic.
In Scripture, we are told that humanity has broken things, we’ve broken boundaries and laws that God set up for our own good. It’s like how one day my wife and I will set up gates in our house to keep Lucy from crawling or running straight down a flight of stairs to a world of hurt. Similarly, God offered humanity life and beauty, and we instead push down the gate to escape down the stairs.
CS Lewis wrote about a beautiful lamp that was broken. At a party (perhaps it was you or I) this lamp was knocked over on accident, and it shattered on the floor. Mortified, I certainly know what the next step would be. In an utter state of horror and embarrassment, I would declare to the host, “I am soooooooooooo sorry! Please forgive me.” Knowing that it is a priceless lamp, one that was passed down from her late grandmother, there is simply no way to make amends for that crash other than to crassly offer to pay for a new lamp.
Lewis went on though, and said that while we can be forgiven for the lamp, somebody had to pay for its repair or replacement. The repairs simply needed to be paid for; even if the host tells us we are forgiven.
The ancient preacher John Chrysostom reminds us that if we place our hope and trust in the risen Jesus, we will be led out of darkness. But it doesn’t stop there at forgiveness or grace, instead he goes further. We are then brought into the family, into the Kingdom of God and are made co-heirs with Christ. While Jesus paid for the broken lamp, of sorts, on the hillside of Jerusalem so long ago, we are given new life.
Friends, I am thankful that Jesus paid it all, though sin had left a scarlet stain, he washed it white as snow.
What else are you thankful for?