WHY IS THE GROUND LEVEL AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS?
“For the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”
This verse is straightforward but deep.
Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant. God kept His promises and established a New Covenant with humankind: the covenant of grace. Gone are the Old Testament set of laws, which were impossible to keep. No longer is blood sacrifice required to atone for sin; the Lamb of God shed His blood for me. Jesus paid it all and took my place. Now, I walk in the love of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). No one comes to God except through Christ Jesus. Romans 3:9-20 states by the deeds of the Law (good works) no man is or can be just in the sight of God. Our best efforts are not good enough in the presence of a thrice holy Father (Isaiah 64:6).
For believers, this is the gist of the passage here. Is there more to discuss than these simple and very comforting words?
Yes, and I would like to discuss them because naysayers abound in the world. These are the folks who in their attempt to discredit God and the Bible will throw an Old Testament law at you and say, “Oh, well the Bible says to do this too but I don’t see you doing this or that. You eat things that the Bible says are unclean and do everything the book says that you should not. Yet, you tell me that you believe God’s Word and you don’t even do what it says.”
Man has trouble enough maintaining or keeping the norms set by them to judge others (Romans 2:1-3). How can one then keep the law set forth by a divine being whose ways and thoughts are higher than those of humans?
Before Christ became the ultimate substitute the people of Israel lived by the letter of the law (given by Moses) but when Truth came by Jesus Christ, His sacrifice allowed us live by grace through faith in the SPIRIT of the Law. Christ never abolished the law; he established the Law and added to it the Covenant of Grace.
Moral good works and religious good works are filthy rags before God. Salvation is by grace through faith (Acts 16:30-33; Galatians 2:16) and nothing can we do to earn what Christ died to give us freely. And, if it is free then why does man strive so to earn what does not require labor but love (Ephesians 2:8,9)? In Romans 3:24 the word ‘freely’ means “gratis” – there is no cost to us.
Some will tell you to ignore these folks. It is not always wise to ignore them. Most are begging for an informed answer. They heard someone else use the slur and thought it was clever. While the nonbeliever sits there thinking that he has the Christian by the tail, it’s the opposite. The Christian is looking at this person in pity because they aren’t knowledgeable enough to know they’ve been misled by the ‘clever sayings’ of other unknowledgeable people.
As Christians, we should be ready to give ‘a reason for the hope that we have’ in Christ. Unsatisfied with a simple explanation of what God has done for us, seekers inquire about when, who, where, and how. Let’s talk about ‘how’ this is significant.
Christ is the Ultimate Prophet and John the Beloved draws upon the writings of Moses from John 1:1-18. HOW is Christ the ultimate prophet? From the time of Moses, God puts His Words on the tongue of a messenger. When Christ came, He was the Word Incarnate – the ultimate and almighty voice of God.
“In the beginning was the Word” letting the reader know that the Word is God, the Word was God, and all things are made by him. By Him, all things consist. John affirms the Deity of Jesus, draws upon Old Testament prophecies and draws us into the attributes of Christ proving He was God. Moses was the first prophet, messenger of God, and the first to record the promise of a Messiah (Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 18:15; John 5:46-47).
Moses is revered as the father of prophecy, the father of the Law. The writer reinforces Jesus is the Christ by reminding Jewish people of the blood atonement required for sin and the promise of a Messiah. It is impossible to keep the Law. The Law was never intended as a substitute for the Messiah; rather, the Law reminds us that we need a Messiah, a substitutionary atonement (Galatians 3:24).
WHY IS THE GROUND LEVEL AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS?
It represents a timeline from the beginning to the end. The mediator/median is Jesus Christ and His substitutionary atonement. All those who followed the Lord and sought righteousness prior to Christ’s Coming were redeemed looking to the Coming of the Messiah (Romans 4:9-11). Those saved during and after Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection are saved looking back on the finished work of Christ.
Behind and before, the mediator is Christ. In Him, lies the key to everything past, present, and future. Without him, man unknowingly reduces him or herself to a jumbled ball of nervous impulses and base responses. Why would humankind degrade themselves to such an extent? To what lengths will a man go to justify his sin? Yes, he will even tear off his own face to avoid a holy God whereby He must answer. It does not have to be this way. He came in love.
Do not let your stubborn heart rob you of the greatest gift ever given to us.
Why is it level at the foot of the Cross? It is ground zero for the soul. Anyone can reach this destination. Grace is never beneath or below, never out of reach, but always at hand. It is designed to reach the uttermost and the guttermost but when we stand there, we are all equals in His Love. That is just what is so amazing about grace.
The Christian glories in what we do not deserve, and cannot earn, but in Him, we gain because He loved us and gave Himself for us!
Why is the ground level at the foot of the Cross? It is the ONLY WAY by which we can be saved from eternal damnation. It is the ONLY path. There is no hill to climb or valley to forge. There is no slippery slope with caverns full of goblins whereby we must pass to enter the Celestial City. It is a level and straight road to the grace of God. A road that anyone can find and travel down to meet your Messiah (John 8:24; John 14:6).
This is a walk of faith in Christ or it is nothing at all. He promises to not drive anyone away (John 6:37). It is a free gift and we receive it by faith.
Faith is duly significant here.
1. Faith is the vehicle whereby we believe God’s promises.
2. Faith is the empty hand that accepts the gift without trying to add humanistic morality or religious good works or self-made piety to it.
By GRACE THROUGH FAITH means that we accept the gift as it given not as we think it ought to be.
Meditate on His love and grace right now.. Take off any self-righteous or judging garments worn by your soul. Accept what he offers and do not add anything to it. His gift is ALREADY perfect. It’s the easiest recipe in the world: just add FAITH.
Is National Israel different from Spiritual Israel? See Romans 9:6 and Romans 9:30-33
Meditate on Romans 3:21-26 this week