Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our Guilt....His Grace

I have many emotions and thoughts every year as Easter approaches. I've gone from a child who anticipated colored eggs and jelly beans in a pretty Easter basket to an adult who fully and shamefully recognizes a very disturbing truth: MY sin put Jesus on the cross. I am as guilty as the person in the crowd who shouted, "Crucify him!" I am as guilty as the man who hammered the nails into Jesus' hands and feet and jabbed a spear into his side. As the man who formed a crown of thorns and crushed it onto Jesus' head. My guilt is no less than Judas' or Pilot's or the High Priest's. Every person who has ever lived is responsible for the cross.

But Jesus knew he would die that day. He knew when he left the perfection of heaven to come to earth as a tiny baby that he was destined to experience a horrific death on a cross thirty-three years later. And he did it willingly. He took our punishment upon himself. He stood in that dark place between us and God so that we would be made clean and righteous, acceptable and worthy enough to be in the presence of a Holy God for all eternity.

The love and grace he poured out on us that day is unimaginable. Un-explainable. Un-graspable. It is beyond anything we will ever experience in our lifetimes. You will NEVER be more loved than you were on THAT day. You will NEVER be offered more grace and forgiveness than you were offered on THAT day. When Jesus prayed in John 17:20-23 for all future believers, he prayed for me! And for you, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ.

That grace and love is still available today! All you have to do is admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior. But Jesus didn't die so we can continue living in our sin. We can't believe in Jesus yet keep on living in the same sinful way. To choose sin and yet claim to belong to Christ is saying his death was meaningless. True repentance is to turn from sin. Walk away. Leave it behind. Just as Jesus told the woman living in adultery to "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:11), we must do the same. Go, my friend, and sin no more. That's what I'm trying to do. Some days I fail miserably, but Jesus' grace is always there, ready to pick me up, wash the filth from me, and carry me forward.

My prayer is you and yours experience the grace and hope and freedom that came through Jesus' amazing sacrifice on the cross all those years ago. It isn't just for Easter. It's for life!


Have a blessed Easter!
The cross in the woods across from our house.

"The Old Rugged Cross"


Betty said...

The thing that I am finding, seeing, realizing more is that Jesus did this....not for what I can do for Him or give to Him....not for what I have to offer. He did this to be in relationship with me.

Michelle Shocklee said...

So true, Betty. Have a blessed Easter! Hugs!

Nicholle Montalvo said...

Beautiful, beautiful! I love every word!