A moment for reflection:
by Morag Cameron
Where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more. Romans 5:20
I grew up in a family where baking was an everyday event. My Grandad and Dad were bakers to trade, each able to make anything with ease and aplomb. Both my grandmothers could bake too so our house was always full of treats to eat.
I was always eager to be around when the baking bowls came out – happy to watch, learn and help as allowed. I was taught by my Grandad that exact measures were required to achieve success but an ‘exact’ measure was a ‘handful of this and half a handful of that! He also never used a food mixer but mixed things with his hands and still his sponges were as light as air. Yet although he did this when he was cutting my Nanna’s tablet into bars to sell at church coffee mornings he used a steel ruler, carefully measuring each piece to ensure no one piece was smaller than the rest and so every person who paid for a bar got exactly the same amount. So - I am not sure if he was a rule follower or if he disregarded rules.
I do understand rules, boundaries and lists help many people know exactly what is needed to do in order to thrive. On the other hand, many folk follow their heart and have a want to tweak the letter of the law. They may feel they can never quite live up to rules, and rules are around just to catch them whenever they step out of line. This made me think how both the rule-followers and the rule-breakers in the Old Testament felt when the law was given to God’s people. God’s law is holy and designed for our ultimate good and flourishing. Hebrews 10 tells us although the law is very powerful and good, it doesn’t have the power to save us and we need something, or someone, greater than the law We know that is Jesus.
In Hebrews 1 v 1-3 we are given us a cavalcade of truths about the Lord Jesus and these verses state God has spoken finally and uniquely in the Son. the manifested glory of God belongs to Jesus. In Hebrews 1 v 4 we are told He is better than the angels; Hebrews 3 states He is greater than Moses, Hebrews 4 informs us He better than Joshua and Aaron. Jesus is better than anything we hold dear or revere.
Jesus is greater than the law
Hebrews 10.10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Although the law is a powerful thing, Hebrews 10 tells us it is but a mere shadow of the good things to come. It has the power to point us to a world full of goodness and order. It protects the widow, the orphan, the sojourner. The law is designed to ensure justice and flourishing for all people but only Christ can provide salvation and redemption for all of humanity.
In Romans 5 we read, "Now the law came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also
grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
"Grace will reign." - because of Jesus’s righteousness, because of His sacrifice on the cross, we will one day live in a world where what the law was a mere shadow of will be our full reality. Because Jesus is greater than all things, one day grace will reign. Revelation 21 says this grace looks like a world without tears and without sorrow. It will be empty of death and destruction. Justice and goodness and kindness will be our norm, and sin and suffering will be no more.
"For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are made holy. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying,
‘This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,’ then he says, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.’ Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin." –
And so whether you find the law encouraging or crushing, remember it isn’t our saving grace. Only Jesus Christ can provide a grace that saves us from our sin. Only He can make us holy. Look to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith, and He will show us how to live until the day when He returns and grace reigns.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning and Your faithfulness never fails us. Thank You, for being interested in every area of our life and that despite our many faults and failings, You have promised to lead and to guide us in all things. Thank You Lord that You have promised to supply the sufficient grace we need in every situation of life. Give us Your grace and guidance in the choices we need to make and direct our thinking, so that our firm resolve and final decisions will be in line with Your perfect will for our life. Thank You that Your grace is sufficient and that no matter where we go or what we do You have promised to be with us. Amen