A friend of mine reminded me today of the fact that Jesus actually did accomplish something on the cross. Just think about this: Jesus, once and for all, fully satisfied the wrath of God for sin! This was something I really needed to hear. I still have some false beliefs about a God of wrath who just might send me off to a dungeon and forget about me for awhile (or forever) because I pissed him off again with my sin.
Rather, God is someone I can come to (and run to) with all of my weaknesses and failings, because Jesus has compassion for all our weaknesses.
I wrote a blog just before last Christmas in what felt like a moment of inspiration entitled, “Why You Never Have to be Afraid Again”. As you have noticed by now if you have been reading my blog, I struggle with fear. I know I’m not alone in this. I hope to move past my fear into the love of God and hopefully help others do the same.
Why You Never Have to be Afraid Again
Love. This is what God is. That’s what the word of God tells us. “God is love”. The same letter John wrote that tells us God is love also tells us that perfect love casts out all fear. Because fear has to do with punishment.
This is why you never have to be afraid again… ever.
Remember Jesus, sweating blood in the garden? Remember that opening scene of the Passion of the Christ? Jesus is trembling with dreadful anticipation. What has gotten him so worked up? Then the devil comes along and whispers, “No one can bear the weight of sin. No one. Not ever.”
Resolute, Jesus faces head on what the coming hours hold. He knows exactly what’s coming. Luke records that Jesus was told about all that he would have to endure by two of his closest and oldest of friends, Moses and Elijah… on a mountain. On this mountain he enters the awesome glory of his Father and experiences a transfiguration. His clothes shone pure white. Whiter than snow. And here, his friends tell him of the suffering he will face.
They told of how he would suffer for love. For redemption. For the rescue of his beloved. You and I. And resolute he faced it. He overcame!
And this, this is why you never need to be afraid. Ever.
When we fear, it simply just shows that we have not been made complete by his love… yet.
When we fear, we forget that yes, the suffering and the cross Jesus bore did in fact accomplish something.
You were forgiven that day. Yes. ALL your sins erased. The sin debt you owed, cancelled. You are now “face to face” with God. A restored child. Loved for exactly who you are. For who he made you. Loved so unconditionally, with such ‘reckless’ abandon, that knowing this love cannot help but heal your every hurt, bring hope to all that is hopeless, bring comfort, redemption, and yes, even joy.
Accept it. Believe it. This is the true message of Christmas. Jesus came for you. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you! So say ‘so long’ to fear and live… believing in his perfect love that casts out all fear.