Most of us see our doctor as the greatest authority in our life. If you’ve had cancer, you know that you look to your cancer doctor as the one who is going to save you from death. A cancer doctor can treat you, but he can’t take your chemo for you. But what if he could? What if you had cancer and you had the world’s finest oncologist as your personal physician and she said: “Don’t worry. I’ve got this. I’ve got the treatment that’s going to heal you – and I’m going to take that treatment for you so you’ll be cancer-free forever.”
That is the good Doctor we have in Jesus Christ. He is the Physician and the Cure and the Patient who sacrificially did our chemotherapy for us in his loving sacrifice on the cross, removing the cancer of sin and its death sentence from us all forever.
How can the ancient acts of a Jewish carpenter apply to you? Well, we often send representatives to fight for us. And their victory is our victory. You’re not speaking German and we don’t live in a Nazi state because of those who fought for us in World War II. Their victory forever banished that evil from our lives. So, too, the Bible tells us that the Son of Man – Humanity’s Child – lived a life that was fully right with God. So right that his work and life of love has fulfilled the law and defeated the powers and principalities and made us forever free, forgiven, and one with God. You didn’t fight that war, but you can receive that peace. Jesus did it all – and it is done. Won and done. His victory is won and it cannot be undone. His work cannot be added to or diminished. Period. You are forgiven. There’s nothing you can do that is going to undo what Christ has already done. Ever wonder if you’re “really” forgiven? If you’re “really” saved? You are. And there’s nothing you can do about that – except to say thanks – and to live a life of thanks by becoming the new creation you already are in him.
The Third Reich was defeated forever, but their hatred is still with us. We saw it at Charlottesville when thugs marched with torches, chanting “Jews will not replace us.” Until Christ returns and God’s Easter kingdom fully comes, we who belong to Christ have work to do to stand against evil and to stand with God for good. We do this not to earn our way into heaven, but simply to be God’s forgiven, faithful people who try our best and give our best to bring heaven’s ways into earthly reality here and now. When we pray “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” that petition is not just an “ask” we make of God for God to do alone. That’s also an acknowledgement and calling for us to get busy and work with God to make it so.
Won and done. Christ has won the victory. It is done and it is here for us to live. One and do. Christ has made us one with God and each other so that we can do what God created us to do: Be fully alive in love with God, neighbor, and creation. Anything less than that is a waste. Any goal less than that is a booby prize. But… every life lived toward that end shall not end because Jesus Christ is risen today. And in him, we, too, shall rise.
So, no more worries about am I good enough; am I forgiven enough; am I saved enough. By grace, you are good – because Christ has made it so. Christ is saving you by grace. He is calling you by name. He loves you and he will not fail. So, drop the self-doubt and take up the Kingdom call: Drive a Habitat nail; pray for a friend; give your coat to someone who’s cold; be generous and share with everyone in need. Forgive, bless, be reconciled to one another, and be filled with faith, hope, and love. That’s the gift, goal, and grace right here for you to live.