What God Makes Possible Isn’t Without Cost

With God all things are possible. -Matt. 19:26

We believe in a God who is so good that He is the very measure of what “Good” is.  “Good” is not a standard to which God attains.  Indeed, to have that idea of God is to have a false God.  The goodness of God reaches down to us.  His goodness embraces us, even when we think He is distant.

In the context of these words of Christ the goodness of God is looking on in sadness as the rich young ruler is departing, having been discovered as a covetous man.  The rich ruler was pious, and he was sincere, but he was not properly focused.  His heart had at least one idol in it: possessions, and in all probability, position.  These two things are common idols, either because we want them or have them.

Christ’s remark upon seeing the young man leave Him astonished the disciples.  Here was a person who had led a strict life of observing the law (at least outwardly), and who demonstrated zeal in running up to Jesus and kneeling in front of Him.  “Who then can be saved?” they ask.  It was not his money and position that provoked the question, but the strain of piety that they witnessed.  And yet it was found out!  Jesus exposed the fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of “goodness” and also the insufficiency of religion.

Who then can be saved?  This is where the Lord answers, “With men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  The religion of the rich young ruler was not good enough to save him.  What would be good enough?  That was the disciples’ question.  The answer is seen only once we have read the whole story.  The “possibility” of salvation that God offers to us could only be wrought by God.  But salvation was made possible not by a quick click of the Divine fingers.  Such a thing was not possible, even for God.  Why so?  Because of sin and its injuries to the Divine character.  Because of the stain of our lives on God’s creation.  Because as sinners from cradle to grave we are a blight upon justice and goodness.  Such a black mark as a human life makes cannot be removed by pretending it didn’t happen.  Indeed, God would not be God if He tried to do such a thing.  Sin is darker than we are wont to imagine, and redemption and forgiveness for sin was wrought by the greatest act of undeserved sacrificial love in all of history.

How then can God make possible the salvation of sinners?  The New Testament answers, through the coming into the cursed creation of the Son of God; through His life among men, and His death for them!  Through sorrow and humiliation and pain.  With God all things are possible, but not easy!  It is possible for sinners like you and I to be saved, and not just to be saved but to become children of God and citizens of Heaven.  But only because the Father sent the Son to do the one thing that could satisfy His justice and remove the stain of our sin.  The Gospel is an easy message to speak, but it involve the wonder of wonders, the profound suffering of the God-Man for His enemies.

When we think of Jesus and His death and resurrection, we should think very soberly about the fact that this was the only possible way to make sinners into saints; to take us out of Adam and place us into the second Adam, Christ Himself.  The cost to God of answering the question, “who then can be saved?” was very high indeed!  With God all things are possible, even our salvation.  But they are not easy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s