Seems every time I turn around there’s more bad news. Friday, for example, one friend finished her last chemo treatment. She shared about the death of the wife of a mutual friend of ours. On my walk, a neighbor pulled up to tell me she was having surgery for bladder & kidney cancer. Then another girlfriend called to say she was sick so was cancelling Easter activities, her husband had just lost his job and they have two small children to care for. Can you think of someone who is not hurting in some way? Who does not need healing, grace, or forgiveness? Would anyone reject a miracle touch from God?
Most people I know have a need. It may be a financial, physical, relational, or emotional need, but everyone has a need. We search for solutions in many places. Some seek solace in their jobs, others in food and drink. Still others busy themselves with activities, sports, or exercise. But at the end of the day, we come up empty-handed. Why? Because no one can provide the healing and the peace our souls long for. No one, that is, except Jesus.
Many have scoffed and scorned him, even so far as nailing him to a wooden cross. The scorn and contempt continues today, doesn’t it? Jesus, they say, is a crutch for the weak. Or Jesus was just a good man, a prophet. But they deny his deity. If you look at all the other religious figures in history, they are all dead and buried in a grave someplace. Not Jesus. His tomb is empty. Could it be, perhaps, that Jesus, too, was misunderstood? His mission was not to become a king or a conqueror as we think of in human terms. His mission was to redeem mankind, like sheep who have strayed, and reconcile us to the Father. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10).
What have you lost in this life, dear one? Perhaps you have suffered a loss of trust such as a divorce, an affair, or a betrayal. Maybe your confidence has been eroded by life or your faith shattered by pain, grief, or tragedy. Others have lost their direction, purpose, or forgotten the promises of God. The mountains in life can seem insurmountable at times, but remember Jesus’ words. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Luke17:20).
Jesus came to restore, redeem, and rebuild lives. He came not just to show us the error of our thoughts and ways, but to free us from them. He shed his blood so that we may have free access to God, the Father. “We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will,” says John 9:31. All of us have sinned (Romans 9:23). To say we are perfect and blameless is blatant denial. All I have to do is examine my thoughts and behavior for one day and the truth of my sin glares back at me.
Yet, until we comprehend the holiness of God we cannot fathom the depth of what Jesus did for us on the cross. This is not meant to put anyone on a guilt trip, for ‘there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). We all have faults and there is no shame in confessing them. I was convicted recently of trying to fight my battles on my own and I cried out to Jesus for forgiveness. I realized I cannot fight all these battles and I need more work in the surrendering area. But Jesus did more than open the path to God for us. He came to fill our deepest needs.
Did you know that Jesus accepts us just as we are? He loves us UNCONDITIONALLY and isn’t that what each of us is really looking for? To be loved and accepted unconditionally by another? The miracle we are looking for can be found at the foot of the cross. Will you draw near? Will you put your faith in the One who loves you so much he shed his blood for you? Until next time, my prayer is that the light and love of Christ will shine into your heart and you will know how truly loved you are this Easter. Happy Resurrection and here’s to new life!