I loved that our church's Good Friday service tonight was focused on pointing to our need for a Saviour because our society and culture is full of their methods to safe oneself. It is good for me to be reminded of the heaviness of the weight of sin upon my soul and realize I am in no position to remove that impossible weight.
Culture gives us self-help books covering every subject, diets to cure gluttony, and relaxation methods to calm troubled souls. Even in Christian circles of every denomination and creed, there are things we do to save ourselves, put ourselves in right standing with God, or to earn His favor. Our family believes in being Christ-like and emulating the examples Christ gave us. You can listen to some of the gospels here or enjoy reading them in your language. The point is that daily I fall short. I lose my patience with a child, don't pay attention when my husband is speaking to me, find difficulty in forgiving repeated wrongs.
There is nothing I can do to earn right standing with God but I can do a million things to put myself in right standing with man, an error common to humankind. I can make myself look holier, more devout, a better person than the next guy. I can think of so many examples, but more impressive are the ones the Holy Spirit brings to your heart as you read this about what you do to impress others that are of no consequence to God.
Tonight our little son looked at me in shock as I mentioned to him that I, his mother, am a sinner. "No, not you!" he said, adamantly, which led to a great discussion of how my place as a sinner puts me in the perfect place to accept the gift of Jesus dying on the cross for me.
Grace is everything to me. I would be laden with guilt, the burden of my sins, if it were not for grace. Grace carries me each day and is an integral part of our marriage, our parenting, and our daily lives. We believe that personal responsibility is huge, that grace is balanced by truth. Without grace, you have the harshness of the law by itself and without truth you have unlimited permissiveness. Paul explains it best when he urges us to become slaves of righteousness whereas before we were slaves to sin.
This weekend as we celebrate Christ's resurrection and all that this entails, make it personal. It doesn't matter your culture or language or religion. He came for you.