“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
“When you are receiving a gift, make sure you take it with both hands. When you give someone a gift, don’t pass it to them in an ‘off hand’ manner. Take it with both hands and put it into the receivers two, extended hands.” These were our instructions on gift giving and receiving in the African context.
Who are “those who are in Christ Jesus”? They are the ones who take Jesus Christ with both hands. They are those who wrap both their arms around the cross, embracing Christ’s blood sacrifice on their behalf. They are those who open both hands and receive the righteousness of Christ, not hooking even their little finger onto a bit of their own goodness.
We just returned from the Thursday Lord’s Supper celebration. The broken bread is passed to me with two hands and the words, “The body of Christ given for you.” I receive it with two hands and eat. The cup, brimming and heavy is passed to me with two hands. “The blood of Christ shed for the remission of sins.” I receive it with two hands. And drink it in.
God gave completely, with two hands. He gave His own Self. Condemned in our place. We who are in Christ receive Him, receive His righteousness in exchange for the death we deserve, with two hands. We receive Him completely and with a whole heart, just as He gave.
But we don’t just receive. Tonight we were reminded that Jesus didn’t break the bread then lay it back onto the table. He commanded us to eat. We receive, giving His sacrifice all of our attention; but we don’t stop there. We apply his sacrifice to our life, every day, every moment. His broken body and shed blood become the context in which we live our lives and where we find our very identity; therefore we are IN Christ; therefore we have been pronounced “Not Guilty”!
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1