It doesn’t sound like good news.
Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. Matthew 27:1
Doesn’t sound like it, but Good News indeed, well that is if it is our good news- if we own it… if it owns us. If we’ve been purchased with the blood that was shed.
The best news.
This story. Truth and Grace made ours by His blood.
But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. John 19:15
Still, here it doesn’t sound like Good News either.
Sounds bad. Like front page Memphis, political, back room scheming, depressing news.
O but to the ones who have been called according to His purposes… who know that plan was carried out and that it was ON PURPOSE that the innocent should die because He loved the guilty so much. He paid the penalty. And for the ones who know that there is no remission for sin unless the innocent dies on behalf of the guilty- this is GOOD NEWS Indeed!
The Bible says we are born INTO sin.
The Bible also says there is no way we can get ourselves OUT of sin, or the sin OUT of us- not on our own.
There is not one person who has escaped the wretched stench of death producing sin. Not one. But because of THIS GOOD NEWS DEATH, Jesus can take every death and breathe life into it.
THIS GOOD NEWS.
You could make a list of what you’ve lost, what has died in your life because of sin: your sin and others.
I’m wondering who you are and what your list is and if we could share ours, would we be able to relate to one another? I’m certain that we could.
And I’m wondering how the enemy whispers in your ear and reminds you of your shame, tells you you are a victim. Does he cast ungodly images in your mind, thoughts, desires? How does he remind you of all that’s been lost? Do you suffer in silence? Do you fight, sometimes or often to seemingly no avail?
Are you battle weary?
Sometimes I get this feeling come over me, like a blanket, and I can’t describe it any other way but with the word: DEFEAT. It “feels” like that word is “on” me. Can you relate to that? I’ve had to learn to push through that… to place my faith IN HIM, not MYSELF and to weed out the lies from the truth.
I want to share something about the Good News with you.
It is right to “own” a problem, a sin, an issue, a pain…
to point it out- call it what it is. Say, “This is mine”.
“I’m an alcoholic. I’ve tried and tried and I cannot drink normally”.
“My husband is on porn”. (or you for that matter)
“I’m having an emotional affair”.
“I was abused as a child”.
“I am anxious”.
“I control and manipulate to get my way”.
“I’m having sex outside of marriage”.
“I am depressed”.
“I don’t trust you with ______, God”.
It is a right thing to take ownership, responsibility. To say: I have this with an open hand pointing at it calling it what it is.
The GOOD NEWS is meant to STOP the intimidation and bullying of sin’s condemnation and death sentence over us which often keeps us secretive and stuck or religious and just as stuck.
Here is the line, though. Pay attention to the difference in this picture.
I’ve closed my hand on the sin, the issue. Now I’m calling it, mine in an inappropriate way. I’m saying that this is WHO I am- me! I’m unwilling to let it go. I’m covering it with my hand. I start to believe that sin is my identity. In this label rich culture, this is happening all around us. This is where this leads:
Right here. Is where Satan wants that problem, so close to our hearts that it is an identity: loser, bad mother, failure, dirty, gay, depressed, anxious, addicted, stupid, whore, liar, freak, pothead, unlovable, unwanted… you fill in the blank…
Listen closely to what Jesus commands: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor …” Luke 10:27
There is no one or anything that is supposed to be closer to our hearts than Him.
Our hearts are meant to let Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be in first place… with the whisperings of His truth and grace closer than any other. Believers, we are NEVER meant to allow the enemy that close.
When we do, we become all twisted up.
Anybody ever been twisted up?
When we have become so intimate with lies… they truly seem like they are part of who we are.
Here is the proper posture.
Admit it. Own it. Point to it. Speak plainly- no candy coated rambling.
Next, do not close that hand. Do not draw it close.
Open those hands,
and receive His nail scarred hands in yours
in exchange for every sin, issue, problem in your life.
Take a moment to meditate on that.
This Good News of Jesus taking deadly sin and giving us Himself.
Close your eyes, open your hands out in front of you and imagine His nail scarred hands slipping into yours and pulling you up close to His heart, His life.
Because, Dear Reader, after that bloody death, three days later He rose again.
Death has no sting.
In His Strength, He reigns.
Not In ours.
We are not to be intimidated by our wounds, weakness, neediness or our temptations.
They are just evidences that His Word is true.
The Good News- He was already aware of it all- all our weaknesses… Hence the cross, where the blood payed for every last bit of it.
I bless you with pressing on into Jesus, confessing your sin boldly at the Throne of Grace and receiving His hands in yours.
Bless you with knowing Him as your perfect Abba Father, with laying your head down against His chest and letting Him love you as His beloved daughter.
Bless you with NOT recognizing yourself according to the flesh because you are in Christ, you are a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Bless Him, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,… (adapted from 2Corinthians 5:16-18)
In Christ Alone,