If you’ve ever been left at a cash register with “insufficient funds” then you know the sickening feeling of not having enough. Many athletes know the devastation of only losing by a few points or coming within tenths of a second to the winner. There’s nothing worse than coming up short when it really matters. As I write this, lent is just beginning. People have made their declarations and commitments to what they will give up during this season before Easter. When Easter arrives then many will choose to go to church because it seems “right” for this time of the year. In all of this, many are hoping to find some sort of fulfillment and satisfaction. They want to make God happy so they’ll eat fish for a month, wake up a little earlier on one Sunday out of the year, and throw on some fancy pastel colors in hopes to appease the Lord at least until they do it all again next year. The sad news for these men and women is, it’s not enough. No amount of fasting, Easter services, or fancy attire could ever secure us a place in heaven. Our works, sacrifices, and offerings would never be enough. These things are insufficient to bring peace to our souls and our relationship with God.
These attempts are nothing new. Throughout history mankind has tried any and every way possible to reach heaven on their own. Consider the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis. This isn’t just a story to consider before embarking on a building venture. This event points to the truth of our salvation. We cannot reach heaven on our own. We will come up short and our efforts will end in confusing ruins. God’s people then thought that sacrifices may bring about security only to find that the Lord did not desire them nor would He accept them. These sacrifices and God’s Law were not set in place to see what we could do. These were meant to expose exactly what we couldn’t do. Yet mankind continues to try to find some way to do enough, be enough, and God continues to show again and again that it’s not enough. There are so many who are left tired, burdened, and empty both in and outside religion. During a holiday season they’ll go through the traditions, make some adjustments, do some work, and hope for the best but when it’s said and done, there’s nothing to show for it. After moments like this, some give up. Some decide they won’t even try. In fact, they’ll go the complete opposite direction. They’ll live for themselves, take for themselves, and fill up themselves. They’ll even go so far as to ignore even the slightest hint of religion but even those who are filled to the brim with material and pleasure find at the end of the day, that it’s not enough.
As I said, the sacrifices were not meant to bring satisfaction, the works were not meant to fulfill, and the law-abiding was not meant to achieve anything. These were meant to show us our need and insufficiency. They were meant to drive us to a Savior. Human effort and strength will not get us to heaven. It took the Lord, to come down to us. Jesus is our only way. Only His sacrifice will suffice. Our debt of sin was too great for any of us to think that we could make a dent in it with annual attempts. God gave us His law to show our weakness, and He gave His Son to achieve what we couldn’t. Jesus took the sin that we could not atone, the arrogance that we could not undo, and the punishment that we could not escape and paid for it all in full at the Cross. Jesus took on God’s righteous anger. He swallowed His holy hatred for sin until there was nothing left. Paul says in Rom. 8:1, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Paul also says in verse 3 of chapter 8, “What the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did.” Please hear this: GOD DID IT! He did not leave any work or part of salvation up to us. He has done enough. All the work required and needed, Christ accomplished, which is why He calls out to us, “Come to Me, all who are tired and heavy laden. I will give you rest!” I pray that all of us would know the hope, joy, and satisfaction there is in Jesus because He is enough!
Let Us Remember And Rest In Him, Pastor Rudy