Every Shred Of Sin
2014-04-17
Over 30 years ago I came to know Jesus Christ for the Savior and Lord that he already was and is.  I was around 5 years old when I told my mom that I wanted to "ask Jesus into my heart."  That is Christianese for declaring faith in Jesus.  We were up in my bedroom just before bed when I told my mom that I believe that Jesus died for me and rose for me.  She and my brothers and sister prayed along with me.  I remember hearing my mom as she descended the stairs saying, "Hallelujah!"  I have declared those same words when my own children have declared their faith in Jesus.  That was Palm Sunday.  

The next week would leave a lasting impression on my heart and mind.  You see, I had a child-like faith that was only just beginning to take shape.  The journey had only just begun to understanding my faith in Jesus.  My dad was the associate pastor at Red Lion Evangelical Church.  We would be holding Holy Week services every night of the week.  Now, just because I became a Christian did not mean that I wanted to spend every minute in church.  In fact, I probably didn't want to go and my mom was probably wondering if my sinner's prayer actually took.  My confession was real.  Very real.  

I remember sitting in the dark sanctuary on Maundy Thursday as the choir stood up and sang "Were You There."  I don't remember much else about the night except that I thought it was a strange question to be asking.  In my little mind I thought, "I wasn't there - how could I be there?  I wish I had been there."  But then something hit me like a train.  I knew that I should have been there and that the cross of Jesus should have been something reserved for me.  All of the sudden in those moments, I knew what it meant for me to say that Jesus died for my sins - my sins. All of the Bible stories started to make sense.  Jesus never sinned.  Jesus didn't do anything wrong.  Why did he die on the cross?  For my sins.  I remember being overwhelmed with emotion and sitting with my mom and dad in our Living Room that night.  There wasn't much living going on in our Living Room.  It had ugly light blue carpet and these really uncomfortable couches with birds on them.  But I sobbed as I told my mom and dad that I knew it should have been me on the cross.

I'm not sure what they did in those moments but I remember that they affirmed that truth but also shared with me the beautiful nature of the Gospel.  Jesus died for every shred of my sinfulness so that I could have every shred of his righteousness.  As a result his righteousness was now my righteousness and my sin had been paid for and put away.  I didn't have to keep asking Jesus into my heart.  I didn't have to finish the work of Jesus.  I didn't have to keep trying to be a good boy so that I could make it into heaven.  The death of Jesus on the Cross was the fulfillment of God's promise to the saints of old.  Jesus had fulfilled all that God promised through his death on the Cross.  Through faith I was no longer an enemy but a friend of God.  

The disciples must have been very confused on the other side of the Cross and the empty grave as Jesus stood up on Thursday night and declared that he was the fulfillment of the Passover.  Maybe his declaration is what finally pushed Judas Iscariot over the edge.  Maybe Peter was resolved in those moments to figure a way out of this mess before he got himself killed.  As Jesus stood up and broke the bread and poured the wine he was declaring that the Cross, our Cross, would actually be his cross so that his righteousness could be theirs and ours.  What a glorious thing that we live on this side of Good Friday and Easter.  The bread and wine make sense to us because Jesus lived up to the Father's Word.  

This Thursday night as many remember the Last Supper, remember that Jesus body was broken for your sins.  His blood was spilled out so that you could be made right before God.  In a very real sense, you were there, if by faith you have confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord.  
 
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