This keeps playing in my head. There are so many things in scripture that seem to be conflicting, but aren’t. This is the great mystery of God…if you think you’ve got Him all figured out, tied up in a nice, neat little package, with all your questions answered, then you don’t know the God I know.
So, is redemption easy?
From God’s standpoint, yes and no. Yes, it is easy because He loves you with an everlasting love and is not willing that any should perish. Like the father of the prodigal, He waits with eager heart and loving arms for all who will come to Him. From the time the world was formed…even before…He knew your name, and loved you so much that the plan was already in the works for your salvation.
That is why the answer is also “no.” The cost was high. The price was excruciatingly painful. Have other men endured pain equal to that of the physical pain on the cross? Probably so. But no other man suffered as the Lord Jesus. Perfectly just God, He suffered the injustices of wicked men. Everything that led up to His crucifixion would cause Him to humble Himself, refusing to exercise the indignation of perfect righteousness. His wounds were ugly, vicious, and undeserved. He bore them in silence. This is not a human reaction, but the decisive resignation of the Savior to bear all of this for you and me. Do you know what it is like to be one with God? To be part of a trinity that is three and yet also one in unity? When Christ bore our sin, that unity was severed…so much so that Christ Himself said that He felt “forsaken.” Do you know what it is like to experience this? I think this was the most torturous aspect of the entire plan. No, in this way your redemption was not at all easy.
How about you? If you have trusted Christ, was your redemption easy? Again, as the prodigal personified, you came to the realization that you had sinned against your Father. You approach him, and instead of having to beg at the door, you find him running down the path to greet you with a loving, tearful embrace. Is that hard to receive? No. With overwhelming joy and relief, you collapse in His arms. So what is the hard part? Well, if you are truly regenerate, you understand that there is a very difficult truth to address. You must come to grips with the fact that you are wrong. You are not “all that”…you are ignorant, simple, imperfect, helpless, hopeless. Did you find that initially easy to swallow? Probably not, without the aid of grace. I rejected the gospel for years because I was too full of myself to let anyone else in. There simply was no room. But then I realized He loves me…”just as I am”…as the song says. He loved me, though I was filthy from the world, my hands were empty. My stubborn heart that had been so hard, was overwhelmed by this. Such love is irresistible, once we are awakened to it. And so, we come full circle. Trust Him who cannot lie, and in whom everything is “Yea” and “Amen”? Accept His gift, which cost me nothing but setting aside feeble pride? Oh yes, that was easy.
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live… Isaiah 55:1-3