Our merciful Father in heaven saw how the Law oppressed us and how impossible it was for us to get out from under the curse of the Law. He therefore sent His only Son into the world and said to Him: "You are now Peter, the liar; Paul, the persecutor; David, the adulterer; Adam, the disobedient; the thief on the cross. You, my Son, must pay the world's iniquity." The Law growls: "All right. If your Son is taking the sin of the world, I see no sins anywhere else but in Him. He shall die on the Cross." And the Law kills Christ. But we go free.
~ Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
A "happy exchange." That is what Martin Luther called it. Jesus takes upon himself our sin, and in exchange, we get his righteousness - prisoners everyone of us, go free. It is ludicrous really. This idea that all fifty-four years of my stealing, lying, cheating, pettiness, bitterness, anger, impatience and adultery would be taken from me and in return I would receive love, forgiveness, mercy, welcome, acceptance and freedom. That shocks the sense out of me every time I consider the unprecedented economy of that transaction.
We celebrated communion last Sunday, and I was reminded once again of the life giving, always giving, abundant giving and unmerited giving of God to me, in Christ. It is a freedom train shouting "All aboard! Sinners step on in!" It's a free ride straight into the arms of Jesus once more. I glimpse the station I left behind - the dark and murky outpost of sin. God turns my face to his Light and beckons me, come. He calls to me, take...
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Come ye sinners, poor and needy.
Jesus gives and gives...
and is happy to give some more.