Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In My Place - Christ's Substitution

It's a question with drastic ramifications: did Jesus' death make redemption possible for everyone, or did Jesus' death actually redeem His chosen ones.
As good Friday approaches, such questions make us (me) acutely aware of how little we actually grasp God's plan to bring about His Kingdom in a rebellious world.
What sets me apart from those who will spend eternity in hell? Person A above would say it's that I chose Jesus. But that makes me the "Master of My Destiny." Person B above would say that what sets me apart from those who will spend an eternity in hell is THE CROSS. There the wrath of God -- which was due unto me -- was spent. Christ was my substitute. That means that all my sins have been covered over by His righteousness.
Have the sins of all people been covered over by Christ? Then they'll all be in heaven like me. It seems that to assert universal atonement is to drastically skew the Message of the Cross. Then salvation is possible for everyone, but I must do a "good work" to actually "get it."
Lord, I praise you that my eternal destiny is determined, "not by might or by power, but my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts." (Zec. 4:6) Holy Spirit, thank you for coming to me, for bringing me the knowledge of Christ, for persuading me of my desperate need of the Cross. Thank you for enabling me to embrace Jesus as He was offered to me in the Gospel.
As Good Friday approaches, and I consider my fallenness and ignorance, I thank you, Father, that my salvation is by Grace Alone through Faith Alone because of Christ Alone. You have humbled me and dragged me into the Mystery -- why did you choose me?