Jesus took upon Himself the punishment for the transgressions of all people…every skin color and ethnic group. And He willingly died for the fatal disease of mankind’s soul – sin. When God sent Jesus to save the world, He had no particular people-group in mind, or certain color of skin He had partiality over…No, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) In God’s eye’s we all matter, and it’s only the work of Satan that diverts our attention away from unity, and deceives us about that foundational truth. Today, lift up your head and look to Jesus…no matter who you are or where you come from, no matter the color of your skin or what you’ve done in the past… you matter to Jesus and He loves you.
Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross wasn’t for a particular group of people, a certain color of skin, or even dependent on a personal relationship with Him or not. The well known phrase, “Once for all” is repeated throughout the Bible to show that Jesus came to the earth to bear our sins and die one single time for the whole of mankind. (I Peter 3:18 & Hebrews 7:27 & Romans 6:10) And one day He will come again, not to repeat His past actions, for that is unnecessary, but to declare the now…for He is the Lord of the new not the old.
God’s mercy is great. It’s His amazing mercy that compassionately addresses our plight and wretchedness as broken human beings here on earth. For only God can forgive and cleanse sinful man when we fall short of His standard.(Which is very often) And it’s only God that can forgive us of our willful defiance, and disobedience directed towards Him. But it is only through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus, that we can attain this Divine forgiveness.
As King Solomon so wisely observed in Ecclesiastes 7:20, ” There isn’t a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.” So to be naive enough to claim we are without sin is only deceiving ourselves and no one else. (I John 1:8) It all boils down to our will vs God’s will in our life…and the decisions we make everyday to either do what He commands or exert our rebellious free will in pride and disobedience.
We all are born with a sin nature. You don’t need a teach a baby how to be crabby and out of sorts…they arch their little back, face beet red, as they let you know in no uncertain terms they’re unhappy! No, thanks to Adam and Eve that sin nature has been handed down from generation to generation. In Psalm 51:5 David laments about this sin nature when he says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” From the first Adam we obtained our sin nature…but the second Adam, Jesus Christ, came to redeem us from it.
Let’s get this straight…God does not tempt us. Instead, our own evil desires do a really good job of that. And it’s when we allow our own deceptive imaginings to fester and grow, that sin has a foothold. You might call this day-dreaming…part pleasant reverie, part suggestive fantasy…but all of it giving rise to deception and lies in our thought life. And whenever you allow your day-dreaming to “go there”…whatever that is for you, you’re being tempted to give in to sinful thinking. That’s when we need to stop and remember II Corinthians 10:5, which cautions us to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.
Are you bound up in the burial clothes of sin? Do addictions have you shackled to a life you hate? Do you long to be free of the things that have kept you from moving ahead? Then obey the command of Jesus, “Come out!” Yes, the decision is yours to make. You can remain wrapped up tightly in the burial clothes of sin, guilt and shame…or you can walk out of that grave you call your life today and live.
The 32 Psalm is called a Penitential psalm, where the writer, David, acknowledges his willful and rebellious acts of rejecting God’s authority. Within it David expresses his feelings of repentance and holy sorrow…asking God to forgive and remove his sin – and bless him. It goes on to say in verse 2 of this Chapter, “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” We will be truly blessed of God when we come taking responsibility for our actions and asking for forgiveness.
As His ministry became more well-known, Jesus became more popular among the social outcasts. Why? Because He wasn’t concerned about maintaining His squeaky clean image, or only being seen with the right people. Jesus went where the need was. So here we find Jesus at a large banquet made up of every kind of questionable personality and reputation. But He looked beyond the person and saw their potential… and wasn’t afraid to go where they lived. You won’t find the healthy in the hospital…you’ll only find the sick. Just as you won’t find most lost sitting in the pews on Sunday. As Christians, we need to be willing, just like Jesus, to go where the need is.