Yesterday was Resurrection Day! My pastor told us to keep two words in our minds as he talked of our Savior…VICTORY and FREEDOM (the new F-word).
We spent time in the passage John 9 where Jesus heals the man born blind. There were all kinds of commotion over this healing. Most of the commotion came from the religious Pharisees…they had all kinds of problems with what just happened. They didn’t see Jesus for who He is. They were all up in arms about healing on the Sabbath. If you were of God, you didn’t heal people on the Sabbath! So some labeled Jesus a sinner. But others were asking how can a sinner do such miraculous signs. This created division among the religious people.
The religious leaders thought the man was just a useless blind man who was clearly blind due to some sin he committed. Even his parents were afraid to speak up for him because they feared the Jews. The Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.
The man had been blind his whole life. He could now see and see clearly! He wasn’t sure why or how he was healed, but he knew that his life had been changed and he was not afraid to tell the truth.
The man kept telling the truth and the religious leaders reviled him and when they had had enough of his truth, they said to the man “you were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
I love this part…Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “you have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” The man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped Jesus.
About a year and a half ago, I committed adultery with my (previous) pastor. It was exposed and became very public. Upon exposure of our affair, I turned from that sin immediately but it took some time for full repentance to come. My consequences were swift and hard…and some are still ongoing.
There has been much forgiveness, much reconciliation and much restoration. I am grateful.
The hardest part of this season has been the realization that there are those who still refuse to offer me the tangible grace of God. How it must grieve our Lord when we make it more about ourselves instead of all about Him. When it becomes about Him instead of us, we ALL get to experience victory and freedom.
I HATE my sin but my sin doesn’t define me. I HATE the hurt I have caused and I can’t undo it but God can heal it. I HATE that I sinned against God but He has forgiven me. As Jesus hung on the cross, my sins were part of the weight He carried. I can never pay the debt of my sin but Jesus can and did!
For a long time, I did want to go back and undo everything…if only this and if only that–but I don’t…anymore…
That might sound hurtful especially if you were one that I hurt but…hear my heart. I am so grateful that Jesus came after me. Before my grievous sin was exposed, I was walking in darkness. I only had knowledge of Jesus Christ but now, I know Him intimately. Theology is great but it does not replace the personal relationship that God wants with each and every one of us. God had his eye on me the whole time. I look back on my life…it is FULL of sin. He didn’t approve but He allowed it.
And when I came to my senses…I cried out to Him and God saved me.
I have had to fight hard to believe that Jesus loves me even when others don’t. I have had to close my eyes and ears to what others think of me and believe what He says about me. I am rejected by some…an outcast. But in the eyes of Jesus, my Savior, I am His. No longer an outcast but loved, wanted, and (gasp) useful to God. Why would He do that?
So that the works of God might be displayed in me and my life. (John 9:3)
Victory and Freedom…that is where I want to live. The Resurrection of Christ is the reason I can and, by His mercy and grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I will.