But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
I vividly remember not being included. It happened several times. Whether I was in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or even now as an adult (also known as an “old guy”), I can still describe many instances where I was on the outside looking in. Do you know what that’s like?
Maybe you’re the person who’s always included, always on top, always winning, always admired, always with more friends than you know what to do with. Maybe you’re the person who sets down your phone and, when you pick it back up a few minutes later, you have several notifications and new followers. Or, maybe you’re like the vast majority (by that I mean probably 99.9999% of people) who haven’t been included in every way.
You know what? God experienced that too. On the cross, Jesus felt abandoned. “Why have you forsaken me?” he cried. Here’s the answer: The Father let his Son die for the sins of his people so that we never know what it feels like to be excluded. Jesus spent his life including those who were excluded, loving the unloved, and searching for those who strayed.
One time, Jesus defended a woman who was about to be stoned to death for her sin. Another time, he stood up for a lady who had a record of sexual sin. He even made a man who was a thief and a cheater to be one of his disciples! And these are just the tip of the iceberg of how far God will go to include us.
When we say that we are saved by Jesus Christ alone, we recognize that Jesus is the only one who could save us. More than just by his example, God carried out all of his saving work in Christ alone. And since he sought you out, included you in God’s family, and brought you into the inner circle of his family, then you are loved. You are included. You are close to God now and forever.
Prayer: Lord, I have to admit that I hate the idea of being far from anyone and anything that is good and wonderful. Thank you for bringing me close to you through Jesus Christ my Savior. Amen.