“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Each morning the alarm startles me out of sleep. Then the cat follows me around the house as I get ready to go to work. He weaves in and out of my legs in an attempt to a) get me to feed him, b) act like he like me or c) trip me…..maybe d) all of the above. I roust the kids from slumber. Not much talking goes on before I have my first cup of coffee.
And then I’m off to the office. Eight hours a day. It’s a good job….as far as jobs go. I work. They give me money…..my wage, my salary, my paycheck.
But what about those things I don’t earn? I have been so blessed in my life. There have been times when I am absolutely blown away by friends and family – who out of the clear blue sky – hand me something that I haven’t worked for….a plate of homemade cookies, a bracelet, a gift card, an inheritance. Presents. Gifts.
My kids are older now. Easter basket prep has gotten a lot simpler. No more painting Easter eggs late at night after the boys go to bed then trying to scour the evidence off my fingers before morning. So, I’ve had a lot more time and quite frankly, many more reasons for some deep reflection. This Easter season the thought that keeps running through my head (besides – are there more calories in a Reese’s peanut butter egg or a peanut butter cup?) is – “What did I do to deserve such an amazing gift?”
I celebrate Easter not because of the ham and the chocolate (or the chocolate covered ham) – I celebrate Easter because Christ sacrificed himself to a brutal and grueling death….and then rose again three days later…..for me. He gave me the gift of eternal life. A precious and valuable gift. How can I repay him? How many good works does a gift like that equate to? How could I possibly ever earn that?
The answer is – I can’t.
In today’s – social security is going to run out, I am independent hear me roar – culture it is such a foreign concept for someone to simply give you something. But Romans 6:23 is very specific in its wording….
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life.”
I earned death. It is my wage, my salary, my pay.
But a gift has been given. You can’t earn a gift. It’s free. A free gift. Freedom from death. Eternal life.
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Do you believe this.?” John 11:25-26