Unflinching Grace


flinch

FLINCH
/flin(t)SH/

intr.v.

  • 1. To start or wince involuntarily, as from surprise or pain.
  • 2. To recoil, as from something unpleasant or difficult; shrink.

God’s grace is unflinching.

When you think about your cavernous history with sin, the grace of God enters into the tangible darkness without fear.  It enters without singing so the silence isn’t terrifying.  It enters without making extra noise to make itself feel less uncomfortable.  Grace is often alone behind shower curtains and closet doors where, if something did jump out, we’d run to the police.  But what we run from, grace runs towards.

God never flinched when he sent Jesus to the cross.  Jesus doesn’t regret the cross.  The grace we find there does not recoil in fear.  It is not repulsed by your story.  No matter how misguided your activism may be.  No matter how consistently addictive your sin may be.  No matter how heinous your history.  No matter how secret your motivation.  At the cross, grace is unflinching.

What makes it remarkable is to compare the cross to the definition of “flinch” above.  From our perspective, God had every justifiable prompt to flinch at the first whip crack.  But

Isaiah 53:10-11English Standard Version (ESV)

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.

There was nothing involuntary about this.  The cross was not a knee-jerk reaction to a cosmic mistake.  God wants his people.  He always has.  This has always been Jesus’ cup.  Grace is firm and unflinching even when we are wayward and wishy-washy.  Grace makes no apologies for the legalist or the licentious.

Grace was unflinching when the crunch of a bite of fruit made the world stand still.  Grace was unflinching when the world was stilled again by the thunderous, “It is finished!”  Grace is unflinching when your world collides with the one you were made for.

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