Friday, March 25, 2016

Why Good Friday Makes the Gospel Too Good To Refuse

GOOD.  When we think of ‘good’ we don’t think of death, but Jesus’ death is nothing other than good in this:
That secret thing we did yesterday, and that dirty thing we’re about to do tomorrow; these things that God knows about; these things we’re already forgiven for.
Those things we’re still ashamed of, and the things we feel guilty for, every one of them, we won’t be punished for, other than the natural consequences of our actions in this world.  If we accept Jesus into our heart.
For every time we screw up an interaction with our spouse, or hurt one of our children or a parent, especially when we should know better, it’s as if God understands, because He does.
When we’ve lost a job through our own fault, or when we’ve fallen into an affair, or become bankrupt because we engaged in a messy business deal, or we’ve made some mistake or error we think we cannot possibly make up for, God reconciles it.  It’s okay.  Sure, there are the natural consequences that have to be worked out, but nothing bad we do can separate us from God.
We may be entrenched in a shameful addiction and God thinks no worse of us.  We’re considered as important as the best ‘performed’ human being.  We still have the problem and we’ll continue to plummet if we don’t arrest the slide, but God loves us every bit He ever could, because of Jesus.  We may hate ourselves but God never does, because Jesus died on the cross.
All these things and more Jesus came to die for — that His perfect love to die in place of our sin would make up for our vast and myriad imperfections.
It doesn’t matter what we’ve thought about God in the past.  Our future awaits now.  There is something we cannot change about ourselves that only God can — the fact we’re fallen, prone to guilt and shame, and so embedded in sin.
Only God can help.  Only a relationship with Jesus can help us experience His grace, which makes us feel less guilt and shame for what we’ve done that we can’t undo.  And any residual guilt and shame the Holy Spirit will use to help us make restitution for.
God no longer holds the things against us that we feel guilty for and ashamed of — past, present and future, eternally.
Why would we hold ourselves above a flame that was extinguished two thousand years ago?
To refuse the gospel, which is the only thing that can heal us of enduring our human condition, is an eternal insanity.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

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