…Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
— Galatians 2:16
When we consider God’s laws, we know that it is impossible to keep them. That is precisely why Jesus came and endured death for us. If we could make ourselves acceptable to God, His death would not be necessary. His work on the Cross was perfect, complete, and finished.
I recall reading once of a master wood craftsman who spent months constructing a beautiful coffee table for his friend. He wrapped it in a soft cloth, brought it to his friend, unveiled it, and said, “Voila. There it is—the long anticipated gift.”
Though it was indeed a thing of consummate beauty, his friend said, “Oh, I … I think it is just magnificent, but I simply couldn’t accept it as a gift. You have done all the work. I must do my part.” With that, he picked up a piece of sandpaper, with the intent of sanding the top of the table. The master craftsman grasped his wrist and said, “Stop that. You’ll ruin it. It is finished.”
So it is with the great redemption wrought by Christ. It is done. “It is finished.” It is perfect. We can add nothing. We can contribute nothing.