Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Picture of Grace

Music is truly the language of the soul. My heart is always moved by the words of beautiful worship music. As I was listening to some of my favorites last night, I was touched anew by the words of one song, A Picture of Grace, sung by the Gaither Quartet. Some of those words follow.

How skillful the hands of the artist
Who painted this picture of me.
He saw with the eyes of a Master
How beautiful my life could be.

Where once was a portrait of gloom and despair,
This masterpiece hangs in its place.
It's signed with His blood and it’s framed with His glory,
This beautiful picture of Grace.

The ashes and ruin that once filled the picture
Had vanished and faded from view.
And beautiful touches of mercy adorned
This picture he painted anew.

Such peace filled the eyes of the man He created;
A smile gently rests on his face.
Since Jesus erased all the guilt of my past
And painted this picture of grace.

As I thought about my life, I realized that God has and still is truly working a miracle of grace. How and why is that possible, why am I so blessed? It’s because He loved me so much that He willingly gave His Son who willingly endured the cross in judgment for my sin.

It’s easy to gloss over all that the cross represents. All the physical pain He endured is what is most often emphasized when that section of scripture is taught. I don’t want to minimize the sacrifice and love that His endurance of such pain pictures—but that wasn’t the worst of His suffering. The worst of His suffering came when He bore the wrath and judgment of His Father in my place—in judgment of my sin. He was forsaken by the Father for the first and only time ever. I know that I yet have only a tiny bit of understanding of the suffering that caused the Lord. Yet, He looked beyond all that and saw you and me. He saw victory over sin and death. He saw His Father glorified in His submission and obedience. He saw Himself glorified by His Father.

May you be blessed anew by the value of that gift. It is priceless. It means eternal life for those who choose to accept it. All He asks is that we show our love to Him through submission and obedience. The gift is free, but those who understand its value can’t help but respond in love to the Savior.

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