I write this with the words of my father in my mind that finances are private, but the illustration between this story and Easter is too good to pass up. I had an "aha" moment this Easter made possible by my wife's father, commonly called "Dad" by all of us. As some of you may remember, Dad passed away before Christmas. It was revealed to us through this death that he had built quite a financial portfolio, and we marveled at the amount he saved and invested over his lifetime of 87 years. Classic Depression Era generation in fact, saving every penny and treating every penny with respect.
As Easter drew closer, the legal system and financial system began to distribute the inheritance to my wife and her twin sister. The money was distributed, and my wife and I began to wipe away debt in the forms of the house and the cars (as is advised by most financial advisors - eliminate non-recurring debt). Like that, our indebtedness gone with the promise of more to invest ourselves. What makes the entire situation feel strange is we did nothing to earn this once in a lifetime opportunity. My wife's dad's death made it possible. His loss is not replaced by the financial sum at all, and the financial gain is something we'd gladly return to have him among us.
Yet God sent Christ to be with us, and because of the cumulative effect of sin - generations past, present, and future, Christ was sacrificed to erase our debt of sin. God experienced loss as his Son died for our sin. We have been given grace, and not through one action of our own. Nothing we did obtained this God-given grace for us.
Dad's loss was felt, and our brief gain was by nothing we did. This tangible lesson made Easter all the more real for us. What did I do to deserve what Dad left us? Not a thing. In fact, I'm indebted to him already for so many things. God's incomparable sacrifice is beyond words or description, and for nothing, I receive grace and forgiveness through his Son's suffering, death, and resurrection.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8 and 9)
Hope Men's Ministry