History of Redemption: Blog Post 31
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins (and) ... were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. - Ephesians 2:1;3-5 ESV; Romans 5:6 NASB; 2 Corinthians 4:6 NASB.
I have three children, ages 2, 5 and 6. They are occasionally children of my wrath. However, my wrath is not a wrath that flows out of justice, but more often out of frustration. My wrath and anger are rarely righteous, but more often stem from my pride and my selfishness. In unspeakable contrast to this, God’s wrath is pure. God’s wrath is holy. God’s wrath is moved by His wholly righteous anger towards sin and idolatry. God’s wrath is justified and right and is ultimately good.
It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the wrath of God. This is probably because I have not tasted it, and never will, thanks to the One who tasted it for me, Jesus Christ. I suspect from what I know of the infinite holiness of God, that it is the most terrifying thing you could ever imagine. When I was an anesthesia resident doing my trauma rotation at Harborview hospital in Seattle, one night a 20 year old girl was admitted. She had been driving down I-405 when a piece of wood flew off the back of pickup truck in front of her and sheared off her entire face, skin, bones, eyes, nose, mouth, everything. As I walked up to her room, I saw her lying there, motionless, with a towel over the crater that had been her face. I knew that I, as part of her care team, was going to have to look at what was under that towel. I was terrified. I feared I might pass out in front of my attending, or start crying, or throw up. Now take that terror and multiply it by a thousand. Perhaps that gives us a place to begin to think about the wrath of God.
God’s wrath is an outpouring of His justice and His holiness. We should praise God for His wrath, knowing that without His wrath, we are left with a God who does not care about sin, and justice, and who ultimately, does not care about us.
We were DEAD in our trespasses and sins. We were not sick, we were not wandering astray, we were DEAD. I have seen many dead people in my short career in medicine, and I am convinced that it is a position that one cannot save themselves from. This is why we need Jesus Christ, because through His death and resurrection, we are now made ALIVE. Always remember, that “by grace you have been saved”. It was not by your obedience, or your good works, or your 15 minutes of bible study every week, it was by grace! And to be saved means to be brought from death to life. And this was accomplished by Christ dying for the ungodly. This happened as an outpouring of God’s “great love with which He loved us”, and was absolutely necessary because of God’s wrath, which is an outpouring of His justice. Let us today give thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ, who took upon Himself the wrath of God, which we deserved, breathing life into our dead bodies, that we may now be made alive ..... by grace, and by grace alone. Let us today thank God for giving us the knowledge of His glory, in the face of Jesus Christ.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).