This morning I am continuing to be blessed by an illustration that Tim Keller uses in his book, Galatians for You. The illustration is used to depict the reality of Paul’s words in Galatians 2:21, which read, I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Keller comments, Christ will do everything for you, or nothing. You cannot combine merit and grace. If justification is by the law in any way, Christ’s death is meaningless in history and meaningless to you personally.
Imagine that your house were burning down but your whole family had escaped, and I said to you, “Let me show you how much I love you!” and ran into the house and died. “What a tragic and pointless waste of a life”, you would probably think. But now imagine that your house was on fire and one of your children was still in there, and I said to you: “Let me show you how much I love you!”, ran into the flames, and saved your child but perished myself. You would think: “Look at how much that man loved us.”
Keller wraps it up by stating, If we could save ourselves, Christ’s death is pointless, and means nothing. If we realize we cannot save ourselves, Christ’s death will mean everything to us.