“To infinity and beyond!" Many of us instantly recognize the words shouted at take-off by Disney's Buzz Lightyear. Over the years, Buzz's words have captured the imagination of many young minds and some of us older ones too. Our grandchildren still play with the original Buzz Lightyear figure our kids played with; he doesn't say as much, but he still flies.
Even before Buzz took off, I remember as a child looking up into the starry night and wondering what lay beyond the bazillion stars I could see. Infinity and beyond! While I haven't figured out that quantum leap yet, I am captured by a similar picture of vastness presented in the Bible that is much closer to home and a lot more personal. Consider the welcome expanse of these words found in Psalm 103:
"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
How incredibly loved we are! The very "expanse of grace" presented here is almost unimaginable. In writing the Psalm, King David describes a loving, holy, and perfect God offering forgiveness so total, our sins are nowhere to be found. It is a bazillion star-sized gift that is freely offered to us.
The sad truth is that for some, forgiveness seems unable to stretch that far, and heaven is for others. I've been there; I think many of us have. But listen—the good news, the best news—is the cross of Christ blows apart any such limiting notion. It's true—you don't deserve it, and neither do I, and that's the point of grace. The cross was placed in Judean soil because only it could separate us from our sin and bring us back into the forgiven family fold. Purely out of love, the sacrifice of the Son of Man resulted in forgiveness that is so deep, so wide, so long, and so high that it can only be contained by our refusal to receive it.
The east and west separation of our sin, the deep and never-ending love God has for us, should bring us joy that eclipses doubt, worry, shame, guilt, and everything else the enemy has to throw at us. The cross is bigger, the empty tomb promises more, and the grace of God commissions us with the forward momentum to live and share this life well. Let's invite a fresh grace revival of our souls; it begins there... To infinity and beyond!