Missing the Mark (Romans 3:23)
Romans 3:23, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
In the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the US women's softball team lost only one game, and it was a game they should have won. Why? In the fifth inning, the score was tied 0-0. The American player, Dani Taylor slammed a home-run over the fence. She took her home run trot around the bases and when she came to home-plate, her team greeted her with high-fives and cheers. Unfortunately, this joyous distraction cost them the game. Dani failed to touch home plate in all the celebration.
When she got to the dugout, the Australian team brought this challenge and the first base umpire agreed. Dani had to return to third base where she was stranded and was unable to score. The score remained the same until the end of regulation play. The American team scored a run in the top half of the tenth inning and took the lead. With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the tenth, the Australian batter hit a two-run homer and won the game. It was a painful defeat for the Americans, but illustrates the truth of what happens when we get distracted. Distractions can rob us of victory and blessing. Peter, Paul, and James addressed this issue in their writings.
Every person born into the human race since the fall has been under a death sentence. No matter how good or moral a person may be, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We needed deliverance from death, but our righteousness could never be equal to the task. Jesus being perfect and sinless had nothing for which to atone, so His perfect righteousness was available to be our deliverance. In the Old Testament on the Day of Atonement, the priest would select two goats. One would be sacrificed on the altar. The other would be taken to the edge of the camp. There the priest would lay his hands on the “scapegoat” to symbolically transfer the sins of the people to it and then drive it into the wilderness. Jesus did something far greater—He did not just cover our sins but He removed them and replaced them with His righteousness so that we could be delivered from death.
We had a debt that we owed to God that we could not pay (Romans 5:12). He who knew no sin became as sin that we who knew no righteousness could be made the righteousness of God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:21). He would place all of His righteousness upon my record so that I might be viewed upon by God as having the righteousness of Christ. Now that’s a loving God! Do you realize all that you will miss if you reject Christ as your Saviour?
PRAYER, Father I thank You for Jesus who paid the sin debt that I owed and could never repay. Although I strive to live righteously, I still fall short of perfection. I thank You that my standing is “in Christ” and His shed blood has washed my sins away. In Jesus name, Amen!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.