Monday, April 21, 2014

Great Love (God Has What You Want)



Pretend that you've never heard anything about God or Jesus. Just for a minute.

What if you saw a story on the news about a group of criminals who were to be put to death for their wrongs, only an innocent man stepped in the way and took their place. He was scared. He didn't want to die. But rather than value his own life more, he wanted to show those guilty people that he loved them. He was their friend. No matter what they'd done, he didn't want them to suffer for it. In fact, he didn't just die for what they had done, but what they might do in the future, too. He said, "Their lives in exchange for mine, and while you're at it, pardon their future guilt and all their past debts. I am totally loaded, so give them whatever they need from here on how. I have it all. It's theirs now. No matter what."

If you saw that footage, wouldn't it bring you to tears? It can be hard enough to find someone who forgives (like really forgives and never brings it up again) and offers second chances, but...how much rarer to find someone who would give up his own life for criminals. No matter what the crime is. If I saw that on the news, I would weep.

Now, imagine you don't see that story on the news. Imagine you see it right before your eyes. Even more, imagine you are one of those criminals. It doesn't matter if you did something as small as bootleg a DVD or something a horrific as murder. The fact is that you were sentenced to death for it. How would you feel in the moments leading up to your death? Would you tremble? Would you cry? Even if you're secure in where you're going after or you believe that you'll simply cease to exist and it will all be over in a few moments, it would still be scary. I mean, no one in their right mind wants to die, but it would be horrible to know it's coming in a matter of minutes. And all because you made one mistake or a thousand.

Now picture that same innocent man taking your place. What a relief that you don't have to die! But why in the name of all that is holy would a man die for you? He didn't bootleg that DVD. He didn't murder someone. Why would he do this for you? Now picture him turning to you as he trembles and looks you in your eyes like you're the best thing on Earth. Picture him saying, "It's because I love you. I want to set you free because I love you." And then he takes death for you. And later you find out he also paid your past debts and set it up so nothing in your future can be held against you either.

That actually happened for you. You didn't watch it happen because it was a long time ago, but He knew you before you were formed (Jeremiah 1:5). He died for your sins before you ever even sinned (Romans 5:8). Do you understand the depth of that? Before you were formed, He knew you, which means He knew all about you, even the ugliest, most vile thing you would ever do. Even so, He not only delightfully created you, but He died so that nothing could be held against you.


Jesus.

We hear about Jesus dying for us so often, that the meaning can get lost on us. But take a few moments after you're done reading this to sit quietly and let that sink in. He actually did that for you so that you don't have to suffer or feel guilty. You're not guilty ever no matter what. What does that mean of you, then? If you're not guilty, you're innocent. Nothing you do and nothing you feel about yourself or what others say about you can take that away. You're innocent. He did that.

Because He loves you.

Not:
when...
if...
because...
unless...
until...
after...

He just loves you always no matter what. Even if you don't believe that He does. And He wouldn't take it back. There's not a chance anyone can trump that. No one will ever love you that much, and you will never love anyone that much. We may spend our whole lives trying to fathom how deep His love for us is, and still never come close.

Oh, and...

PLOT TWIST! He came back to life afterward. He lives, but I'm sure you heard all about that since yesterday was Easter. That means that means that this Great Love who died for you is still around to have a relationship with you. Don't let it get religious and stuffy. He is a living being who loves you madly! He's in your corner. Has your back. Wants to sweep you off your feet. That's incredible.

Keep reminding yourself that His love covers you from everything for all of time. It's pretty life-changing. And you're so worth it.




 

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Thank you for reading! As always, feel free to leave comments for email me at jessie(dot)mullins5(at)gmail.com If you missed the first post in the God Has What You Want series, you can find it here. I'll have a new post every Monday. Cheers.  

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