Published on April 24th, 2011 | by Stephanie S. Smith
A God Who Goes the Distance
In this Easter season, I’ve been reflecting on the Incarnation of Christ, the God that became a man to enter into our midst and save us. As I read the gospels and the New Testament teachings, one particular thought has stood out to me: the Incarnation shows a God who was willing to go the distance. John 1, the classic passage of the Incarnation, shows exactly how far this distance is. This chapter teaches that Jesus was with God “in the beginning,” present and participating in the work of creation, and then later in history He became human and “made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
Not only did Jesus cross physical distances to reach His creation, but He subjected Himself to mental, emotional, and mortal limitations as well. Philippians 2 tells us that willingly, Christ “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (v. 7). This powerful passage illustrates to us the very depth of pain and suffering that our Savior submitted Himself to for our sake. He went the distance to the very bottom of human existence, becoming “obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (v. 8) so that He could raise us up into eternal life, and “therefore God exalted Him to the highest place” (v. 9).
Our God went from being “nothing” to reigning in “the highest place,” traveling the farthest distance possible, to bring His estranged people back to Him, to the glory of the Father.
The implications of this are profound. It means that we cannot, no matter how far you have fallen or strayed, go outside the range of God’s grace.
There is no sin that is out of range of God’s forgiveness.
There is no distance too far where His mercy cannot reach you.
There is no depth of depravity that our God cannot redeem.
Psalm 103:11-12 promises, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” There are no limits to God’s love. Because Jesus went the distance for us, literally going to hell and back, there is no sin out of reach for Him to redeem! No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve come from, His invitation to you remains the same to call on Him, confess, and return.