The mournful cry goes up from the child of God as moisture rises from the damp earth after the dark cold of night (Matt. 5:4). In this cry we see evidence of God’s Spirit at work in His people. “The righteous cry…” (Psalm 34:17). What is God’s answer? What is the comfort of heaven to mournful spirits on earth? There is but one. It is always the same. It is Christ that died, Christ that rose, Christ who reigns and Christ who intercedes (Rom. 8:34)! It is Christ who is willing and able and saves to the uttermost by His death and endless life (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 5:10)!
Our crucified, risen Savior is our one and only Answer. He answered God for us with Himself at the cross (John 18:8; Gen. 43:8-9; 44:32-34). He answers for us now with Himself in advocacy upon the throne of grace (1 John 2:1-2). And on Judgment Day, He will answer again for us with Himself (John 5:24; Rom. 8:1). Oh, thank God that our Forerunner has taken possession of our inheritance for us (Heb. 6:12-20)! “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34)! Our “lot” is in Christ (2 Pet. 1:1)!
In Romans 7, God performed surgery on the Apostle Paul. He laid him on the operating table of His grace and opened him up to show us His work in the heart of His believing children. During that operation, He revealed the healing stream that flows to His patient under the knife of His word. When Paul cried, the Spirit of God lifted up Christ to show us the certain success of His operation and our present life-sustaining I.V. during it all. That I.V. carries the life stream of the Gospel of Christ crucified, by whose stripes we are healed, in whom we are risen, and by whose life we now live (John 6:63;1 Pet. 2:24; Gal. 2:20; Rom. 5:10).
We daily wonder: how can we be delivered from ourselves? Who shall deliver me from this wretched man that I am?! How shall I be free from this body of death!? In desperation, we cry out. God answers. It is His one answer to our every question. It is our all-glorious Substitute, our enthroned Savior! “A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary” (Jer. 17:12)! “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Thank God! This is not complicated. There is but one Answer! We have no strength against our sins (Psalm 65:3). We don’t know what to do (2 Chr. 20:12). God sends His word. Our eyes are directed to Christ. As Thomas (John 20:27-28), we learn again, “There for me the Savior stands, shows His wounds and spreads His hands!” (‘Depth of Mercy’, Charles Wesley).
Therefore, I will take this one word to my Master, as Onesimus took the letter of Paul his surety to his master Philemon (Philemon 1:12-13, 17-19). I will bring this one and written plea to heaven’s throne. Put it on my tombstone: “It is Christ that died!” God heard Him! In Christ’s answer of Himself, God heard every believer. I won’t be in that grave ‘ere long, because He died, He rose, and He forever reigns and even now intercedes. He is my only and all-sufficient Answer to God at all times and for all eternity (Psalm 46:1-4; Rom. 8:28-39).
God answered Paul’s cry out of his internal war between his flesh and his spirit. He answered with the one and only Answer: Jesus Christ the Lord, who was crucified! It is Christ that died! Christ is the one Answer God Himself received forever for His people (Heb. 9:26).
What is my plea to God out of the warfare in my soul? What is my thanks to God? It is God’s Answer from His Son! Jesus Christ the Lord shall deliver me from the wretched man that I am! We live by the same faith that we received in our spiritual birth (Col. 2:6; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:3). It is not trials in our soul that should concern us; it is the lack of anything and everything that drives us to Christ (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6)! May God so keep us without strength in ourselves that we might find all of our strength and righteousness in Christ!