We often find ourselves saying this whenever we're in a seemingly unfair circumstance. Sometimes we say it verbally and sometimes it's the thought process we go through during a specific, frustrating time. We are always wanting justice if we find ourselves getting the short end of the stick. Whether you're the only employee scheduled to work the shift nobody wants, the last person to get your food after 30 minutes of your friends eating in front of you, or the person that shatters their phone screen even with a heavy duty case on it yet your friend enjoys their slick phone with no scratches at all.
In my reading recently, I found myself thinking that same thought. Except for this time, I didn't feel as if I deserved more. In fact, I would argue that I deserved absolutely nothing.
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." -Ephesians 2:1-3
A child of wrath. This is who I am without Jesus. This is who we are without Him. We are spiritually dead in our sins. While death signifies no communication with the living, being spiritually dead means we had no communication with God.
Because we're dead!
Can you imagine how awful this is? No hope, no solution, we're just dead vessels deserving nothing but the wrath of the God of the universe. Rightly so! This is not something we can shake our fist at and yell "this is unfair!" From the moment we were conceived we wanted nothing to do with our maker. He gave us life, and we lived against Him. We have chosen to go against Him. We have decided to follow the course of this world, to waver and act on Satan's words and not the words of our Heavenly Father, and to willingly live in the passions of our flesh. We have rebelled against the King of the universe- and someone has to pay. God is a righteous, holy Judge, and we are the guilty person on the stand. We wholeheartedly deserve hell. Typing that even now still makes me have an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. To know what my life would have been like if it weren't for the following, glorious conjunction:
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (v. 4-7)
The only way a spiritually dead person can communicate with God is to be made alive, and that must be done by the One who is Himself alive. He is the living God, "who gives life to the dead" (Romans 4:17). He knew we would never be able to choose Him because of our state, so He came to us, lived a perfect life, died the death we deserved and rose again. God graciously devised a way that He can forgive our sins and grant righteousness without compromising His holiness (Romans 43:25). No one deserved suffering less, yet received so much. It was an inconceivably violent death. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia tells us the following about the crucifixion Jesus suffered through:
"The wounds swelled about the rough nails, and the torn and lacerated tendons and nerves caused excruciating agony. The arteries of the head and stomach were surcharged with blood and a terrific throbbing headache ensued...The victim of crucifixion literally died a thousand deaths...The suffering was so frightful that 'even among the raging passions of war pity was sometimes excited'".
Christ suffered to bring us to God and that through this hour of darkness the Father and Son may be glorified.
How is it that I, a former child of wrath having no hope, am now loved by the Creator God of the universe? I now have access to the deepest, strongest, and purest love in all of the existence.
This should bring us to our knees in humility and complete awe at how undeserving we are. It should leave us in an endless repentance to God, and to a constant exaltation of His rich, undeserving mercy and grace. Day after day we must dwell in this truth, tell of this truth, and rejoice in this truth. He suffered the death we rightly deserved and conquered it by rising again. Truly this is news everyone should know! This is indeed good news! There is hope and there is a glorious solution for followers of Christ! This is not news to lock up and seal in our minds, but to spread it so much that it becomes impossible to stop.
That Christ, being rich in mercy, came into the world to save sinners with a sacrificial love that ultimately leaves us astonished saying...