The well-known song, Amazing Grace, includes the following lines:
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.
I can relate to being lost. In my family, my lack of directional sense is legendary. (While time has improved things a little bit, I am still fairly dependent upon GPS if I want to visit anywhere new that is more than about 10 miles from my house.)
When I’ve been lost in the past (before the days of online maps), it’s been frustrating and annoying. I’d lock onto just about any clue about my location – even if it was wrong. The longer things go, the more irritable I would get, especially if I was supposed to be somewhere at a certain time.
I can relate to blindness a little less. However, without my glasses, the world becomes fairly indecipherable. As I get older, small print is becoming a challenge, too. It’s a humbling experience to realize that there are things that I just can’t read anymore, like the tiny print on circuitboards that I may be tinkering with.
Even more so, though, there’s another song that makes our plight without Jesus even more clear. The song is called The Way (by Worship Central), and includes the following lines:
Lost and dead but Your love came to find meJesus, You are the way
Being lost is bad enough, and being blind brings its own challenges. But when we had sinned – made choices that disqualified us from sharing in God’s perfect holiness – we weren’t just wandering or short-sighted, we were dead in our sins (see Ephesians 2:4-7).
As a previous pastor of our church once said (probably quoting Ravi Zacharias), “Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive.” So often, Christianity is portrayed as following rules and “being better”. While the standards of God are unchanging, our good behavior is entirely irrelevant to whether we are good enough to live for eternity in the presence of God. Romans 3:23 casts us all as sinners, meaning that we have failed to live righteously, and no amount of “being good” will change that. After all, trying to make up for our bad choices by living up to God’s standards doesn’t offset anything, since that’s how we should be living, anyway…
…but, the good news is this: Jesus’ perfect payment – in our place – was enough to cover the gap between God’s requirements and our shortcomings. Once we understand just how big the difference is – between the justice we deserve and the grace we have been given – we may start to get a glimpse of the magnitude of God’s love towards us.
In light of that, it is no wonder that when we follow Him, we don’t just get a new outlook on life, we have new life (see 2 Corinthians 3:5-6).
Grace is amazing because it restores us when we were lost and blind. But it is even more amazing that it brings us from death to life.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB