Maybe this is too much information but today I am reminded of being set free…Good Friday. But it started last night as I went to a local church, where several friends were singing in the choir, to watch their reenactment of the Last Supper. It was touching as the men got up one by one and spoke of their friend Jesus. Their questions were very real, they didn’t understand how any of them could betray their Master, they knew He was the Son of God, they knew He was God! “Lord, is it I?” was the question asked over and over.
That one question made me stop and reflect how often I have sinned or rejected Jesus, all the while claiming that I love Him so dearly. Have I denied my Lord? Yes, sadly I have. I have not spoken up at times when I should have told someone my story, how Jesus loved me when no one else did. Yeah, I was afraid of being rejected once again. Have you ever been there? Your story might be different than mine, but it still has the same result.
Back to last night, as all the men left the room, we then heard the crack of a whip and someone crying in agony. Then…then Jesus, carrying a cross, came right by me. Blood was dripping off his back and I began to cry. The choir sang a song that made me cry more. And that’s when I was reminded that He died for me!
Oh yes, and for you. I continued to reflect a bit more. Some 43 years ago I invited Jesus to come live in my heart. I made that decision to live for Him and not for myself but I’ve not always lived for Him. I’ve made some wrong choices that were to satisfy my flesh…I still do. But last night, ever so gently the Holy Spirit reminded me that I was forgiven and my sin was as far as the east is from the west when I went to Him with a repentant heart.
He has set me free! He has set you free! Jesus cared so much for us that He became the Sacrificial Lamb to cover our sins. The best is that three days later, He arose from that grave and lives today!
He called people like Peter, who denied Him or Thomas, who questioned if it was really Him. Today He calls people like you and me, to serve Him. When those around us haven’t forgotten our sinful lives, He has and He intends to use our past to reach out to others who need to know Him. Others who don’t feel they are good enough. Isn’t that the lie told to us by the evil one? That we aren’t good enough…for Jesus…to serve Him…but He loves each of us just where we are and longs for us!
So, in my case, I have been abused most of my life. The earliest memories I have of being physically abused is about 2 years old. I thought it would stop when I left home but then I seemed to attract men and women who only wanted to use me and abuse me. Most of my life I have been compared to one person or another, that told me that I wasn’t ever good enough being me. By the time I was 15, I wanted to end my life but was never successful.
Why? Because even before I knew Jesus, He knew me. He saw potential in me! Can you imagine? He kept me safe even when I tried to hurt myself. He’s kept me safe to work with children who feel much like I did growing up. He’s kept me safe to reach out to people who are “different”, to have compassion for the hurting. What has He kept you alive for?
Easter is a time to rejoice that our Savior lives and loves us. Easter is a time to once again reflect of how we have been set free to serve Him. Easter is a time of healing and repentance. He is waiting for us with open arms…even when no one else is there Jesus is there!