This week is holy week. It is a week to reflect on the truth that Jesus came and paid it all. “All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.” That song has been ringing in my head all week. And I am so glad it has. It seems like there is a lot to distract this week from the enormity of the gift of salvation but I am choosing to actively turn my focus on what the cost of sin truly is…death. Death is certain. Morbid to think about it but we all face it. It could be today. People die everyday. What makes you believe today couldn’t be it? But how do we approach death? I couldn’t imagine living life without the hope of heaven. It would all seem without purpose. How can you live without purpose? I think there is a very obvious reason why Rick Warren’s book “A Purpose Driven Life” was so popular. People are constantly searching for it. But you can’t find the true purpose without God. It won’t make sense. With God, life makes sense. With Jesus, life is eternal. And because He lives…we can live. So death is nothing to fear in life. My husband and I talk about those that we have known that have gone on to be with the Lord. He likes to think his mother and grandmother are enjoying watching him raise a daughter and the test of patience this brings. How wonderful to have this hope of seeing these people we know again. That we are not eternally separated from them. I thank God for this hope. I thank God that He loves us so much, has such purpose for our lives, that this isn’t it for us. That this day to day stuff is just temporary and there is so much too look forward to. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:11:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
This scripture tells me that we are not made just for this earth. We have souls. Souls with the desire to find the eternal. This is why we seek for purpose. This is why something inside of us cries out “Is this all there is?” Because eternity is already in our hearts. But there is a problem with our hearts. They are evil. There are countless verses in scripture that talk about the heart of man being evil. And for this reason, bad things happen in the world. With reason, without reason. We cannot reconcile it. But because of Jesus and his defeat of death we can have hope in it. That the bad stuff can be redeemed to good and this lie of “this is all there is” is just that…a lie. The power of the resurrection cannot be denied by those that have experienced the freedom from sin and addiction. I know my husband experienced this great freedom from his darkness and I have experienced my own liberation from the bondage that this world brings. There is no other word to describe it. FREEDOM.
“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” Romans 6:22.
Because of Christ, we can approach this holy week with confidence. WE can speak and commune with God through the one He sent to save us from ourselves. There is nothing we can do, no good deed that we can perform, that will help to alter that. It is a gift. It is hard to fathom because we feel that if we are given something so great, the gift of eternity, that we must do something in return. And all we have to do is confess that we are sinners, believe that Jesus died on the cross for OUR sins, and that he conquered death by rising on the 3rd day. It seems too easy to be hard for people to comprehend. But in this one act of selflessness, Christ made us white as snow. He washed our past away. And each day we get the choice to live for Him and do what matters in life or we can deny Him like Peter and live how we want to. There are some days I find myself like Peter. Wanting to hide in the shadows for fear of what people might think about how strongly I feel about my faith and if I were to proclaim the name of Jesus. I confess that I have days where living in my old patterns sounds like a fun idea. But then the pain of that reality pulls me back and I remember that it is not worth the price that was paid. This sanctification process has its difficult days. It has days that I wish I could just kick back, enjoy a glass of wine and say “heck with it”…but that is not the choice I made. I made a choice to deal with it head on. To pray about it and this is Life On The Wagon. And I won’t trade one moment of it…Because Jesus chose me on that day. In the garden, when He prayed to father, He chose me. With each lashing, He chose me. When they mocked Him and put a crown of thorns on His head, He chose me. When He carried the cross through the streets of Jerusalem, He chose me. When they pounded the nails into his hands and feet, HE chose me. When they lifted the cross and his body sank into the full weight of the pain, He chose me. And that is why I choose Him. Because He came for me. Because He lives, I live.