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“Christ died for the ungodly”

These words pierced through my heart this past week, especially when it is connected with the metaphor Paul used in II Corinthians 4:7-18 of treasure being placed in jars of clay.  Let me explain this connection.  Paul writes in verse 7,

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

The metaphor reminds me that I am a mere pot, a jar that is used to contain just about anything.  A pot could contain oil, garbage, the remains of a person, or something worse.  God instead chose to fill the vessel with treasure.  For those that are in Christ, Paul gives us the assurance that God placed treasure inside of an individual, and that is reason enough to be happy.  Indeed all those who call upon the name of the Lord and put their faith in Christ will obtain this treasure.

Paul told us about the treasure earlier in the chapter.  He found that the treasure is…

…the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Cor 4:4-6

This treasure should not cause anyone to boast in their own worth, for again those who are in Christ are a jar of clay.  These jars have been redeemed out of mire for service to the King.  As I wrote above, Christ died for the ungodly.  He took the punishment that I rightly deserved.  He took it for me that I might be justified before God.  This is reason enough to be excited, but He doesn’t stop there!  He then gives us every spiritual blessing and draws us into what it means to be human again.  Those who are in Christ are given new life with a promise.  We are given the promise that,

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

(2 Cor 4:13-14)

Being united with God again and transformed into the image of Christ.  Indeed, He who raised Jesus from the grave will also raise us up through the power of the Spirit.  How can these incredible things be?  We are assured that we will not be put to shame, for the resurrection of Christ is the firstfruits of new life.  He will be faithful to His word, for that is His very character.  Indeed how fortunate are those who can call themselves the ungodly and jars of clay?  And the great thing is, is that you can call upon Christ and He will make you a jar of clay—an ordinary pot that contains the treasure of God!  How great is that?

I recently came back from a trip on a plane and it hit a significant amount of turbulence in the flight.  While I was in that choppy air, a morbid thought entered my brain.  I thought, “What if this plane had a technical glitch and plummeted into the Pacific somewhere between Hawaii and California?”

I felt right with the Lord and shrugged at the dark thought.  I realized at that time that God is Lord of all, even my days.  If I died in that moment I would know that worrying could not save me.  My entire being was in the hands of the Almighty One, He who cares for me.  If I lived, I knew that my days would go along until I faced death and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I had a remarkable assurance in the power of the Lord, the keeper of my life.  I could relate for a moment (albeit not perfectly) to the psalmist in Psalm 19 who feared for his life yet trusted in the covenant keeping God.  The Lord’s faithfulness would always come through, even in the dark moments.  Even if the jaws of death snatched me from this world I could rest in the fact that Christ had conquered it.  Death is fangless, death has had its sting removed.  It is through the resurrection of Jesus that we can have full assurance that our lives will be kept, even after we die.  To be in Christ means that we will be raised from the dead in glory, given new bodily life.  In Christ, we are given life after life after death.

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Past Musings