"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" - Matthew 11:28-30
I touched on this yesterday. That when we give into the mechanics of religiosity (simply put: doing our best to appear good) we embark on climbing a religious ladder that never ends, it's to high to climb.
I was listening to Tullian Tchividjian, an amazing preacher, and he quoted someone as having said "unfortunately from most pulpits it's the christian being preached, not Christ." That is to say that what we must do is being preached instead of what Christ has done. We are preaching the rules of what Christians must do, and must not do. What rules we need to follow. But Christ's sacrifice and substitutionary atonement is not being preached. Christ died saying "it is finished" not "now finish it". He left nothing to be done. "Then they said to him, 'What must we do, to be doing the works of God?' Jesus Answered them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.' "-John 6:28&29. They came to Jesus looking for something to do to be doing... something. Jesus tells them it is for them to believe in him. Jesus taking our punishment, and freely offering his righteousness to us is an act of grace.
When we realise that Christ has done it, that his sacrifice was all sufficient, it allows us to rely on his righteousness, and the weight of the law comes off our shoulders. In contrast when we start looking for salvation in our actions or accomplishments we suffer horrible slavery.
Over the next week or so I would like to do present a series I'm calling: Three Brands of Slavery. I hope you'll continue to read.