I remember seeing a Facebook post a mate of mine had posted recently and it said this:
“Jesus leaving the 99 to find 1 seems irrational and senseless – until that 1 is you.”
Over this year I have been trying to reflect a little bit about the grace of God and the rescue mission he deployed. One of the conclusions I came to is that this grace and forgiveness thing, the rescue and the mercy that is on offer is absolutely offensive and outrageous.
Look around you, people living however they want to, doing whatever they want without care or regard for others. You can see the vilest acts and people committing terrible deeds of hate and rage against other. Yet we see in the bible that Jesus, dying on the cross, somehow made a way through for all people. A way to be forgiven, a way to be healed restored and not left outside the home, but welcomed in as a dearly loved son or daughter.
This is offensive. Why should they be shown mercy? Why should they be given a pass and this incredible gift of generosity and kindness? Why should they get to be forgiven when they have hurt people, taken life or lived selfishly without any regard to others around them? This is just offensive.
That is….until it becomes about me. I want justice. Sorry, let me explain what I mean by that: I want justice on others but not for me. Mercy and grace, I am happy to have, but justice, well that’s for those wrong’ens. (Essex term)
Jesus, left the 99 and went on a rescue mission for the 1. The lost, dirty, vulnerable, sinful, scummy, life messed up 1.
The cross of Jesus is offensive, how can Jesus forgive like this? How can he love like this? How does his death set even the vilest sinner free? Why would he leave 99 healthy, nice, clean, good looking people and go after the dirty rotten 1 that has decided to do their own thing and live their life ignoring him? What’s offensive is that even if they turn from that life at the last minute and call on his mercy to save them….he does!!! That’s offensive.
Jesus loves you, he loves me and whilst there is breath in our bodies, whilst there is time, his pursuit after us is relentless. He gave everything on the cross, for even the vilest ‘sinner’ to be saved. (Or how we measure sin anyway, all of us have failed in reality!)
So, maybe it’s just too offensive for you, the cross and forgiveness of Jesus is too unbelievable. For me, I literally throw myself onto this grace, I don’t feel worthy, I can’t point at others and withhold this gift of grace, Jesus won’t, he didn’t with me.