Friday, March 27, 2015

Our Sin As A Backdrop

To fully appreciate Christ's death on the cross, we need to sense our utter sinfulness. Jesus died, not because we in any way merit His favor, but precisely because of our complete inability to do so. As long as we cherish any thoughts that we contribute to our salvation in even the slightest degree, we minimize His glory.

In desiring to glorify Christ for dying the death that you and I deserve, we cannot omit discussion of our depravity. At the same time, we need to keep the focus on Him by praising Him for His sacrifice on our behalf. Our wretchedness serves merely as a backdrop for His grace...much as black velvet accentuates the luster of a pearl.

As we face up to the ugliness of our sin, we see the Lord's gracious beauty in allowing Himself to suffer the horrors of crucifixion. The inhabitants of heaven unceasingly worship Him for His work to ransom a people for Himself.
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. ~~Revelation 5:6-14 (ESV)
Jesus, Who shed His blood because you and I could never dream of earning the favor of a holy and righteous God, deserves highest praise for redeeming sinners as vile as we. The more we see our moral bankruptcy, the more brilliantly His beauty shines, calling us to praise and honor Him.

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