When you have a big problem, you need an even bigger solution. At the end of the basketball season my senior year of high school, I tore a ligament in my right foot. It was a really small injury, but the consequences were devastating. Two weeks before our District Tournament, I could barely walk from my bed to the bathroom. The easy solution was surgery. A couple months after surgery, I would be as good as new. But that solution didn’t solve the biggest problem I had. I wanted to play in the postseason.
I visited a physical therapist who had a crazy idea. He believed he could create an insert for my shoe that would relieve pressure from one side of my foot allowing me to play, as long as I could endure the pain. Was it the safest solution? Probably not. But I would have done anything to play for championships. In the end, he successfully created an insert that allowed me to play. There was no way I should have been able to play in two weeks, but his solution was far greater than my problem.
Our condition before God in sin is a major problem. Not only are we guilty of sin because of our union with Adam, but we commit millions of sins in our lifetime. It makes total sense for us to receive judgment from God because of even one sin. But in Christ we receive a gift of righteousness credited to our account despite the mountain of sin we have recorded. This is grace unimaginable. One writer said God’s grace in the gospel is a “miracle of miracles, utterly beyond human comprehension.”
The law increases the seriousness of our sin, but “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Sin leads to condemnation and death. Christ sets us free from the chains of sin and death by taking our sin and giving us his righteousness. We are declared righteous before God because of the work of Christ in our place. God’s grace is far greater than his judgment. His judgment followed only one sin. Yet after countless sins, his grace still overflowed in Christ. Problem. Solved.
Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their sons, Jude and Jack. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.