My most recent entry was entitled “The Mercy of Clarity” where I wrote how God brings crisp understanding as to our guilt before him. Nebulous belongs to paganism, but clarity is clear by nature and shows us our status. Thankfully God not only says we are guilty, he also says we must be perfect. But then he says he will fulfill the law for us. Remarkable. But allow me to share more thoughts, specifically on things I learned from Dale Ralph Davis.
Davis comments on the horrible scene in II Samuel 21 where seven of Saul’s descendants are impaled because of Israel’s breaking of the covenant through Saul. Davis makes an excellent point: atonement, he writes, is gory and horrible. The reader of this passage is aghast at the scene….and he should be. We often underestimate our offensiveness and our own covenant breaking nature. Covering for that nature is a gory business. It is easy to forget the perfect and glorious God who loves us. Something radical had to be done to make atonement. The payment (redemption) is so horrible that we can scarce understand what is happening (especially in our western minds). But it requires blood to cleanse us. Think Calvary. Grace is amazing because sin is so horrible.
As believers our breath is (or should be) taken away because of the ugliness of this gore. But when we trust Christ, not only is our breath taken away, so is our guilt. And we are “declared righteous.” In Christ, we are in good standing with the God of the universe. That also takes our breath away.