But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
Hearing, understanding and believing are critically different stages of awareness when it comes to the realities of the cross.
One of the hardest areas I believe on my own personal journey of redemption is moving from hearing to believing; and I think many may get stuck in much the same way.
I had heard of God and Jesus and the Cross my whole life, but they had little affect on my life. Today my son is even taught the basics of many religions in History class. An intellectual knowledge of God is the foundation of faith, but it is not faith.
I find myself in this loop often, trying to figure out which comes first; heart or mind. I think the core truth in all of existence is balance. We must hear the Good News of Christ and on some level understand it so that when our heart and self-will is sufficiently broken we know where to go for healing.
Much like a young seedling in the soil, in darkness and pressed in on all sides it longs to grow. And as it pushes through the dirt, striving and reaching upward, one day it passes beyond the confines of it’s surrounding into the light to draw directly from the source of life, the sun. The roots of its beginning, its past struggles remain the very foundation of its life, the soil. Without the soil the air and sun have no value, nor do the air and sun provide life without the soil
Our lives in The Son are the same. Our past, our journey to get to this place, our suffering, our struggles, our victories, they are all part of God’s ordained path for us.
Much like Joseph who was betrayed by his brothers, convicted and sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit, and in the end became one of the most important in all of Egypt and responsible for saving countless lives through the preparation of the land for the great famine.
The entire catalyst that can change our lives comes not on the day we stop doing drugs, or cutting ourselves, or stop eating unhealthy or vow to live a pure and chaste life and then we get on through self will to struggle in our own sanctification.
No, true freedom comes at the incredible revelation that we are already healed, that the price was paid, that Christ died for our sins and the sins of others and that our lives, all of it, has great meaning in preparation of our heart and strengthening of our soul and spirit for the mighty plans God has through our testimony and His blood.
Hearing that, and even understanding what the Gospel means comes up short if that is all it is. Believing God’s love for us personally at the core of our being, believing in the Son is the only way to make sense of our lives.
It is when the depth of His suffering meets the realities of our own that glory is revealed and we for the first time are able to understand that it is not us who will earn freedom from the bondage of our past, but it is He who has already granted us freedom to live for the future.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool
This shared journey of redemption that we all find ourselves on is a blessed journey, for once we come into the very deep and profound realization that our sins, like all sins, are covered by the cross, when we come into full repentance and surrender our lives to Christ, then the only battle that remains is for our heart to catch fire with the beautiful truth of God’s redemption in our lives, a reality that took place over 2,000 years ago not something we are still waiting on.
Father God, I thank You for Your word which continues to reveal Your truths in our lives. I find so often that my struggles each day are not to get through the details of life, but in remembering at the heart level that You have already overcome, and that my calling as a disciple is simple; to love as You loved first. Help me Lord not only keep my eyes open on the divine opportunities to help and to serve others, but to remember that Your redemption was for my own sinful weaknesses and that shame and self-condemnation is in direct conflict with the Glory of your work on the Cross. I rebuke Satan’s attempt to adorn me with the bloody rags of my past, for You paid the price and never again do we need adorn the clothes of the dead man who was laid to rest at the foot of Your cross. Thank you Jesus, in Your precious name I pray…