Lee Jong-rak is a pastor in South Korea. In South Korea, every year, hundreds of babies are left for dead on the sides of streets. Pastor Lee had an overwhelming sense that he needed to do something to save these dying babies. So Pastor Lee decided he would create a drop box – like you do. He decided he would put a box on the side of his house – a door on the outside, a door on the inside with a sign right by the door saying, ”Place to leave babies."
Pastor Lee’s home has become a makeshift orphanage dedicated to rescuing unwanted babies off the street. The LA Times described his work when it wrote: "In a country that prizes physical perfection, Pastor Lee Jong-rak, his eyes opened after caring for his own disabled son, has been taking in unwanted infants, who if not for his drop box would be left in the street."
The children that no one else wanted, that no one else saw as valuable, and that no one believed were worth saving, Pastor Lee sees them as family. Pastor Lee rescues these children and gives them a home. They are in one moment orphans and in the next family.
The scriptures use a similar metaphor when describing the extent of God’s radical grace. In the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jesus does what no one else would do in order to save spiritual orphans who have been left on the street for dead.
Plagued by our own sins and spiritually dying, Jesus ignores that we aren’t worth saving. Jesus ignores that the rest of the world might call us worthless and flawed. In a world that has created a self-determined perfection that none of us can measure up to, God breaks the scales as his perfection becomes our own.
Jesus makes us family.
God the Father is not only a Father, but he’s our Father. Jesus is not only a great teacher, but he’s our Savior and our brother. While we are burdened and crushed by the weight of our inability to measure up, Jesus gives his life. This is what the Apostle Paul describes in Galatians when he writes:
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." - Galatians 4:4-7
The death and resurrection of Jesus makes you a son and daughter. You are no longer a slave to your own sin. You are no longer a slave to your own self-determined lack of worth. You are no longer slave to the repeated condemnation that leaves you for dead on the side of the road.
You were a slave. But Jesus comes to set the captives free. He frees you from sin, from evil, from suffering. You are no longer a slave, you are a son and a daughter.