I have been reading a wonderful book by Paul Zahl entitled Who Will Deliver Us? It is about the blessings of Christ's substitutionary atonement. Do you ever wonder if Christ's work on the cross has any relevance beyond your enternal salvation? Zahl does an excellent job of encouraging the reader with "the present power of the death of Christ."
I am a little like the duck hunter who was hunting with his friend in a wide-open barren of land in southeastern Georgia. Far away on the horizon he noticed a cloud of smoke. Soon he could hear the sound of crackling. A wind came up, and he realized the terrible truth: a brushfire was advancing his way. It was moving so fast that he and his friend could not outrun it. The hunter began to rifle through his pockets. The he emptied all the contents of his knapsack. He soon found what he was
looking for - a book of matches. To his friend's amazement, he pulled out a match and struck it. He lit a small fire around them the two of them. Soon they were standing in a small circle of blackened earth, waiting for the fire to come. They did not have to wait long. They covered their mouths with their handkerchiefs and braced themselves. The fire came near - and swept over them. But they were completely unhurt. They weren't even touched. Fire would not pass where fire had passed.
The law is like the brushfire. I cannot escape it. But if I stand in the burned-over place, where the law has already burned its way through, then I will not be hurt. Not a hair of my head will be singed. The death of Christ is the burned-over place. There I huddle, hardly believing yet relieved. I believe in the atonement. The law is powerless: Christ's death has disarmed it. 'Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!'