When I last left you, I was at the beginning of my marriage and the baggage that I had brought with me was beginning to weigh me down. I had this really amazing man and I felt like I had very little to offer him. I loved him very much but that didn't seem to be enough.
One day it happened, crumpled up in a ball, I collapsed before my Lord and King in utter shame. The weight of my life came crashing down on me and I had no choice but to face it. I fell on my bed and began sobbing uncontrollably. I began crying out to God, “I am so sorry, I am so sorry. Please forgive me for all that I have done against you. I am so ashamed.” I begged over and over for Him to forgive me. As I laid there crying, I didn't know what else to do besides open my Bible and begin to seek out some relief.
I now realize He was slowly revealing Himself to me and as I was begging for forgiveness this is what He was showing me.
He held up my head and said, “Child, I already forgave you.” I didn't understand. I said how is this possible my list is so long? How can you bear it?
He said, as I set out for Jerusalem, I knew what I was doing. I held your list in my hand and with my face to the ground, I prayed for my Father to take this cup from my hand. He reminded what I was holding onto. I knew there was no other way. As I was betrayed with a kiss and arrested, I made sure I didn't let go. When all of my followers abandoned me, I didn't waiver for a moment.
As I was dragged from the high priest to the governor, I made sure that I that your list was in my grips. As they began spitting and slapping me in my face, I knew I had to take this one for you. When they tore my clothes from me and replaced it with a purple robe and a crown of thorns and began mocking me, I knew you would someday understand.
When they tied me to the post and began beating me in the head with a stick, I made sure to take every blow and to never let go of your list that I had carried all this way with me. As the morning continued on and I began to walk to the place they call The Skull, I made sure that no matter how hard it was going to be to carry that cross and your list, I would do both. When the cross became too heavy, it dropped me to the ground but I had clenched your list I brought with me.
As I walked the rocky path to Calvary’s Hill, I knew you would someday come back to me. When they laid me there on the cross and began to nail my hands and feet to the rugged wood, I felt every blow of the hammer but I held on tight.
As they mocked and ridiculed me, I knew you would face the same. My heart broke for you and for all who were watching. I cried out, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Just the same as I do today.
As they raised the cross my blood began to drip down your list that I took with me on that day. With each drop, your list became less visible to Me and to My Father until the blood soaked page was wiped completely clean.
With my last breath, I gave one last shout for you and for the whole world to hear, “It is finished,” because I had given the world all they would ever need to be with me in paradise. At that moment, I opened my blood clinched hand and your list blew as far as the east is to the west.
So you ask if I will forgive you darling girl, I already have. Now it is your turn to forgive yourself.
I cried out, my Lord, I don’t deserve your grace. He said, nobody does but the debt has been paid. You just have to believe and to trust that it was meant for you.
The Good News is this. Now when I stand before my Lord, I don’t have to bow my head in shame. I don’t have to trudge to His feet with my heavy load. With arms spread wide, He took it all. Today, I can stand before my Father and bow my head as a redeemed and righteous daughter of a King.
Dear Friends, there is power in the cross. The power to heal the broken-hearted, the power to forgive, the power to be completely redeemed. The amazing thing is, it was all for us. There is nothing we can do to add to the grace that Christ poured out on us at the cross.
Crucifixion was meant to be painful and humiliating. Christ took that so we don’t have to. For our relationship with God to be restored, there had to be a perfect sacrifice. Jesus was the only One who could be the perfect sacrifice, being One with no sin. Now God can see us in a new way because through Christ we are redeemed. Through Christ we are made whole. Through Christ we are made new.
So now you are faced with one thing, a choice. The choice to believe what Christ did on the cross was for you or to turn it down.
Christ died with two criminals on either side of Him. On one side a criminal who, in his brief time with Christ, realized who He was and realized He was the only One that was going to save him at that point. He recognized that he wasn't worthy of being saved but saw the innocence of Jesus as he hung on the cross.
On the other side was a criminal who made the choice to mock and taunt Jesus, saying if you are The Son of God, then save us. Even in his final moments of life, he didn't recognize that he didn't deserve it. He wanted a quick way out.
Christ recognized the heart of the changed criminal and assured him, today, you will be with me in paradise.
Do you need that assurance in life?
Are you at the point in your life where it may seem to be going good, but you are not assured of what would happen to you or where you would go if you faced death today?
Have you asked Christ into your life but you are continuing to live on your own path because it seems to be easier?
Are you a free person in Christ but still, like I was, living in the bonds of sin and shame?
So, I asked the question, WHO will bear my shame? Jesus says, I already have. I took it all and hung it to the cross. Do you need to lay your baggage at the foot of the cross? Do you need some relief from what is weighing you down in life?
There is power and hope in the death and resurrection of a Living Savior. He’s waiting, my friend, for you to take His hand. He says seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be answered.
Christ came to seek and save the lost. He came for people like me and you.
If you are in need of forgiveness today, take it to the cross. God laid down His life there to save you from your past, present, and future. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness.
If you have questions about how to heal a broken relationship between you and God, let me know. I would love to have a conversation with you about this. You can send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you already have a relationship with Christ, please take a moment to pray for others that may be reading this right now. Please share some encouraging words below in the comments sections and please SHARE the hope with your friends.
Any comments and questions can also be left anonymous, so please reach out and take that next step.
I Love this song from Crowder! I hope that you enjoy it and may you be lifted by the Almighty!