“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?”
These words spring from the joyful Sam Gamgee and are found in J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel , “The Return of the King.” Singer Jason Gray turned this line into a refrain for a series of his songs that I like to sing to myself.
These words really should form an anthem for us who are believers in the Savior. Sad things do come untrue because Christ makes us new.
Facts are facts – there is no disputing them. Consequences are real and all too often tragic. Bad things happen. We do bad things. He hurt others with wrong words, with harmful acts. We are flawed and crooked; such is our nature drawn to the dust and to the fear of death.
Division. Confusion. Disaster. These things are very real in our world.
Real, yes; but must they be true?
Facts may remain. They can be listed and read, over and over and over. They form the essence of accusation and condemnation and revenge.
Truth, I believe, involves definition. As a result, one has to dig deeper, below the surface to our foundations. Underneath everything is His everlasting arms. Those same arms were spread open on the Cross of Calvary and they invite us to come to Him.
Face it, we really know not what we do. Deceived and desperately wicked are our hearts in unbelief.
What is the response of Christ to these realities? It is this: “Father, forgive them. …”Mercy answers what life brings to us. It is extended, and we may receive mercy simply by recognizing our need for it. Click To Tweet
Grace and mercy must form the bedrock for us. It is only by grace that we are even here. We came alive one instant and we had nothing to do with it. Life was given, freely, a gracious happening it was. It came through no effort of our own.
Mercy answers what life brings to us. It is extended, and we may receive mercy simply by recognizing our need for it. Mercy revives and restores in the wreck and the ruin of what we make of things. We are forgiven and set free. Our sins are buried in the sea of His forgetfulness and removed from us, as far as East is from West (see Micah 7:19 and Psalm 103:12).
Reach for Hope
And so I say sad things do come untrue, as they did for a particular robber in his condemnation, who hung there beside Jesus on the execution hill that day. The facts of his crimes sent this man to that cross. But the truth about his destiny changed in moments.
“Lord, remember me when You come into Your glory,” he said to Jesus. It was a cry for mercy. It was a cry that was heard. It was a cry answered with a promise.
“Today, you shall be with Me in Paradise,” said the Lord.
The upside of the world came down to this robber. He was given life from above just as his life here below neared its end.
All that was sad became untrue. This robber was made new. Eternal life was made his reality. His past was gone forever, swallowed up in the forgiveness of the Son of God.
Let’s allow God to show us afresh the truth about who we are in Him. To work the works of God we need only believe on Him who was sent from God (see John 6:28-29).
It is simple really. Defeats do come, but though weary and burdened, we may reach for any thread of hope dangling at the edges of the robe of His righteousness. May we stretch weak, withered hands toward Him and be made whole, for holy is He.
Let the sad go. Let it be untrue to us. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
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