The Gospel at the Grocery Store
This article is re-posted from Justin Taylor’s Blog. It was an encouragement to me. I think it will encourage you too:
Elyse Fitzpatrick helps us think through a situation of applying the person and work of Christ to sinful frustration at the checkout line of a grocery store. What I especially appreciate about this is how it helps us to think about all of Christ, and not just one aspect of his work.
Read the whole thing for context, but here’s how she applies the psychology of the gospel to her sin:
- Because of the incarnation, Jesus Christ knows exactly what it is to live in a sin-cursed world with people who break the rules . . . like me. I am a rule-breaker but He’s loved me and he’s experienced every trial I face. He’s with me. He sympathizes with my weakness (Hebrews 4:15).This understanding of His love in the face of my sin drains my anger at my rule-breaking neighbor. I can love her because I’ve been loved and I am just like her.
- Because of His sinless life, I now have a perfect record of loving my neighbor. He perfectly loved rule-breakers. This record of perfect love for my rule-breaking neighbor is mine now; knowing this relieves my guilt. Even though I continue to fail to love, His record is mine.
- Because of His substitutionary death, I am completely forgiven for my sin . . . even the sins that I seem to fall into at the slightest provocation. God has no wrath left for me because He poured it all out on His Son. He’s not disappointed or irritated. He welcomes me as a beloved daughter.
- Because of His resurrection (and the justification it brings), I know that the power of sin in my life has been broken. Yes, I’ve failed again, but I can have the courage to continue to fight sin because I’m no longer a slave to it. This replaces despair with faith to wage war against my selfishness and pride.
- Because of His ascension and reign, I know that this situation isn’t a mere chance happening. He’s orchestrated it so that I will remember Him and be blessed by the gospel again. He’s ruling over my life and interceding for me right now. I’m not a slave to chaos or chance. He’s my Sovereign King and I can rest in His loving plan today and rejoice in Him.
- And, because of His promised return, I know that all the doubt, injustice and struggle will one day come to an end. This line in this grocery store and my plans for dinner isn’t all there is. There’s the great good news of the gospel. I can go home now and share with my family and guests how Jesus met me at the grocery store and we can rejoice together in His work on our behalf.
For more along this line of thinking, see the book she co-authored with Dennis Johnson, Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time.