The Greatest Comfort

Disease, discord, and death, painful as they are, represent only symptoms of a deeper disorder: Our disobedience towards God and impending doom under His righteous wrath. That is why no sorrow compares to the agony of a violated conscience. We were created to love, and when pride, resentment, lust, greed, deceit, and idolatry defile our souls, the response can be nothing other than intense anguish. For the same reason, the greatest comfort is reserved for those who freely confess their sins and place their trust totally in the mercy of God, who sent His Son to take the penalty we so justly deserve. Our comfort derives from Jesus’ discomfort (to employ the mildest possible term). He refused to shrink from His duty, despite intense struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane. He refused to run from His captors, answer His accusers or destroy them with a swift command to armies of angels ready to intervene. Nor would He mock His mockers by descending from the cross. Rather, He fulfilled His destiny by absorbing in His sinless body and soul the awful anger of a Holy God. To complete His work of redemption, He allowed Himself to descend even into the darkness of death. Because of His courage, we receive consolation. His death defeats our despair. Faith in Him conquers our natural conviction that we could never be loved by God, whom we correctly know to be an incorruptible Judge. “If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful to forgive us our sins…” for “He Himself [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 1:9; 2:2). That is why “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Not only so, but “God is for us… “ and “justifies” all who trust in Christ (Romans 8:31, 33). Our greatest comfort comes to us by way of the cross of Jesus Christ, and can thus never be withheld or withdrawn from sincere believers.