I’m continually shocked and awed at the radical and unquenchable grace of Christ. With all my faults, my fickle adoration, my inattentive worship, my worldly demands, my preoccupation… I know that Christ waits for me, His arms wide open like the father of the prodigal son, simply enjoying and celebrating my return. And He does this for me over and over again.
Who else would do this? Who else can love so unconditionally?
I’m not the only one Christ has done this for. Peter claimed he did not know Christ, James wanted power in return for service to the kingdom, Philip failed to see the Father in Christ, and scores of other disciples and followers were convinced that Jesus was finished on Calvary. The New Testament has scores of examples of men and women who started out well and then faltered along the way. Yet, Christ still met them where they were. He appeared to Peter, who eventually became the foundation of the Christian church. James is now remembered more for his sacrifice than his ambition. Philip finally saw the father in Christ, and the disciples who despaired had enough courage to recognize Him at the end of the road to Emmaus.
Jesus has a long list of people who have unflinchingly failed only to receive and benefit from His radical grace.
What is more, his forgiveness precedes repentance. He has already died for your sins. He is already patting you on the back long before you can weep your first tear or utter your profound sorrow. He is consoling, reassuring and encouraging you, long before you admit your failure.
So, let your failure meet His grace and remember God’s mercy is gratuitous and “there will be rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting… (Luke 15:7). Can you hear the applause?