Understanding everything is overrated.
That doesn’t sit well with me, though. Part of the draw of medicine, for me, is understanding pathogenesis (what goes wrong) in order to fix it, to facilitate healing. Medicine is all about understanding process. Detail oriented by nature, I love understanding the steps to get from A to B.
But when you walk with the Lord, you realize, you can’t “understand” Him or what He does, unless He lets you in on it—and even then He blows your mind.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. —Romans 5:19
So, when Paul talks about righteousness as a gift we’re given because of faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, the knee-jerk response is, “What??! I do the crime and someone else agrees to do my time, with the judge’s consent? That just doesn’t happen. And you want me to believe the judge sees me as a model citizen from now on? That’s crazy!”
Getting what you deserve makes sense to your flesh. Getting the good someone else deserves? No way.
But with no other way to pay the price for sin or make yourself righteous, Love satisfied Justice’s demand. Jesus made forgiveness and righteousness available, by His perfect sacrifice.
Your faith in Jesus makes you alright with God.
That’s difficult to wrap your mind around, but if you stay stuck trying to reason it out, you won’t embrace the gift and enjoy it.
After slathering his eyes with muddy spit, Jesus told a man, blind from birth, to wash his eyes (see John 9). How bizarre, but the blind man did so and saw for the first time! Did he stop to question Jesus about how it would work? No. He just followed instructions and found himself seeing.
And when the Pharisees grilled him about the whole thing, he finally had to tell them, “Look, I don’t know how to explain it. All I know is I was blind, now I can see.” He took the gift and enjoyed his sight. The details were irrelevant.
In Acts 12, Peter lay asleep in prison, chained between two soldiers, and guarded by four squadrons of soldiers. The angel of the Lord woke Peter and told him to get up. Did Peter stop to ask, “What’s going on? Who are you? What are you talking about? Don’t you see all these soldiers?” No. He went with it. When he got up, his chains fell off and Peter walked right out of prison. He accepted the gift of deliverance and enjoyed his freedom.
The gift of righteousness is no different. It doesn’t make sense or seem fair that one man’s sin made us all sinners, but that’s the reality. And the greater reality is that by another Man’s obedience (Jesus) He’s made righteous, those who believe.
I’ve decided not to waste any more time trying “to understand” the mechanics of that. Some things are just too deep for me (Psalm 131:1). The gift of Christ’s righteousness is too costly, too amazing, too necessary to “leave it on the table.” I’m going to embrace it and enjoy it. Jesus would have it no other way!