It is by grace we are saved through faith in Christ Jesus (see Romans 3:24, Ephesians 2:8). Today’s verse gives us a different perspective of grace. We read in Hebrews 2:9: “But we see Jesus, who as a man, lived for a short time lower than the angels and has now been crowned with glorious honor because of what He suffered in His death. For it was by God’s grace that He experienced death’s bitterness on behalf of everyone!” (TPT). By God’s grace. The ESV says it this way: “So that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”
When I recently read this passage, I thought to myself God’s grace — something we look at with gratitude because it’s a free gift from God, not based on what we do, not anything we could earn — results in experiencing death’s bitterness. Jesus tasted death for everyone. This doesn’t sound like grace, does it? Grace is amazing. How is this grace from Jesus’ perspective? He experienced death’s bitterness. He died a painful horrid death on the Cross.
We often look at grace from the perspective of a free gift, a good gift, from God. We receive His free gift of salvation through Christ Jesus. We embrace His grace and His mercy. We are thankful for His unending love. But as we consider God’s grace, we have to remember that sometimes the free gift, sometimes the hand we are dealt, isn’t going to be wrapped up in a fancy package with a bow. At times, God’s grace will be painful to us for a little while. At times, God’s grace may upset us or challenge us. It is because we cannot see things like God sees them (Isaiah 55:8).
When we are dealt this troubling hand, this challenge, painful experience, struggle, loss, etc., how can we find the goodness in God’s grace? This is when it is important to fix your eyes on God’s Word and rest in the hope and confidence you have in Him. Remember, He uses all things for His good purpose (Romans 8:28). You might not see it yet, but it’s coming. God can use the bitterness of death to bring about resurrection and life. God can use the Cross to bring about the empty tomb. God can use the stranger beside you to remind you of His goodness.
There is something special when experiencing the grace of God. It is an opportunity to see God move. Even when life seems uncertain, even when the road looks difficult, etc., we find this opportunity to be invited to see the goodness of God. It can be found during the flat tire situation on the side of the road. It is witnessed during the loss of employment, the broken bone, the unexpected bill. God takes that which is bitter and makes it sweet. He takes the struggle and makes it the victory. He uses His grace, no matter the situation at hand, to pour out HIs blessings. Some may not look like blessings at first glance, but we can rest in knowing that in the end God will use everything for HIs good purpose. Amen!