“There is no difference [between Jew and Gentile], for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
~Romans 3:22b-23 (NIV with modification).
When all is said and done on this earth for you and I—when the cards are packed neatly away, and the action of ‘our day’ is finished—we will stand before that Great Judge and we will all know one thing.
Due the fall—like all that have preceded us, and all who will succeed us—we too have failed.
‘Missing the mark’ is at the very top of our human job description form. And this should not get us down. It, for one thing, magnifies the Saviour. And we are not down also for another reason.
It can actually help us achieve a wonderful sense of hope—beyond any hopelessness of this world (for which there seems no end). For when we consider the Great Judge will acquit us if we’re saved of him, for all the wrong we’ve done, simply for accepting the work of the cross and the theology of God, we see that failure really isn’t the point.
It’s about God; it’s not really about us and our silly failings—which, of course, aren’t that silly when we consider that everyone is basically the same—with regard to the science of falling short—no matter if their name ends with Obama or Woods or Manson or [add your name here].
Failure is our major and we qualify with first class honours and with high distinctions in every subject. We blitz every examination we attend, eventually. And our prize—at Graduation with God—is a welcoming hand as we pass over the stage, accepting our degrees, in our spiritual regalia.
Mortar boards in the air! We’re good at this thing, every single one of us.
But it isn’t ever anything we glory in. We glory in the majesty and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ for achieving victory at Golgotha for us. It was his blood; his nail-pierced hands; his pain, suffering and torment for ours; his undignified end... his saving grace.
And this Spirit of Jesus is alive and well today, 1,980 years on. Still saving sinners is the Lord of glory, our King of kings. And ever will be—until the consummation.
What a victory it truly is: defeat is unknown when defeat is actually victory. To fall short is the way to God. How glorious, we all qualify, continually. Everyone passes the Entrance Examination. No one is left unplaced who seeks their place.
As we look forward to Graduation Day, let us firmly fix our eyes (Hebrews 12:2) on the grace, power and wisdom of Jesus—the ‘Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).
In him is hope beyond any hopelessness!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.