“Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.”
Amazing Grace by John Newton, Verse 5
Most of us have not been sea captains involved in slave trade. It is easy to think of the “other guy” as the real sinner cause I am trying to lead a decent life. But in fact we are all mortal and will face death. When I think of an example of someone whose flesh and heart failed, I think of Job in the Bible. He’s an Old Testament character who experienced devastating loss of his children, his property and finally his health. His friends even turned on him and tried to convince him that he must have done something wrong. Job denies guilt of the major sins. He has not been unfair to the poor, lusted, or traded unfairly and has tried so hard to live the good life. John Newton knew he had lived a bad life. Job believed he had led a good life. Both men will die, their mortal life will cease. Job is famous for his confession to his accusing friends. He said,
“I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
Yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
With my own eyes — I, and not another,
How my heart yearns within me!
One day we will all face the risen Lord with our “sins of commission” (the bad we actively did) and with our “sins of omission” (the good we did not do), with all our failures when we did not live our better selves. How comforting it is that we face a Lord who understands our lives and who has walked through death for us. Marinating in the Easter season is important.
Perhaps today we might think of one of those times when we did not live out our better selves. Let us spend time thanking God for forgiveness. Perhaps there is someone we need to forgive and stop carry that grudge of accusation. “My redeemer lives.”