It is Good Friday. The day Jesus walked to Golgotha and died on the cross for you and me. The story is familiar. Most of us have heard it all of our lives in one form or another. But how seriously do we take what Christ did when it comes to our every days? How much do we overlook those multiple little indiscretions we commit as inconsequential to our standing as a good person before God and man?
Sure Christ died for my sins, but this one little thing isn’t really a sin… or that one… or even that one which is a little closer to the line… Taking supplies home from my workplace… Drinking a little too much… Sleeping with my boyfriend now and then… Pointing out what my children or spouse did wrong to motivate them to be better… Sin? Those aren’t sins, just what’s normal in today’s world. Sin? That’s the big stuff like cheating on your spouse or stealing from a stranger or hurting someone intentionally… I don’t do any of that!
But we have it all wrong. The whole premise of walking with God is not a checklist of things we shouldn’t do, but a lifetime of discovering and experiencing all that we were created for. The one is a burden too heavy to bear and the other is a lifetime of freedom and joy.
God created us to live in harmony with Him, each other and with nature. He set up guidelines to help us live within healthy boundaries that make life fulfilling and satisfying. He gave us the option of building our lives on a solid foundation that will not give way when storms and troubles touch our lives.
But we circumvent these things, thinking we can do it better on our own.
That is the sin Jesus died for: Our attitude of independence and self-sufficiency. A declaration that we don’t need God; we can do it ourselves, thank you! That attitude separates us from God like an endless chasm that cannot be spanned by the positive things we do to balance it out. No matter how good we are, our efforts fall sadly short.
Jesus died in our place. His suffering made a bridge for us across that chasm. We walk over His beaten and bruised body every time we approach God. Bruises he suffered for our attitude of “I can do it better in my own way, on my own terms.” It is the attitude of our hearts that determine our actions. God is interested in our hearts first.
As I reflect on this picture, I wonder… how many times have I come before God pouring out my dissatisfaction with the way things are and telling Him how He should be doing things instead? Was I even aware of the bridge I had just crossed to get to Him? Did I even notice the black and blue, tortured body I was walking across?
No, I was totally focused on what I wanted… what I thought I deserved.
Ouch and double ouch!
God doesn’t promise us a free and easy life. But He does give us joy that springs from the depths of our being, in spite of our circumstances. He gives us His Spirit, who is like a friend who sticks closer than a brother. He makes us new from the inside out. And His provisions and gifts don’t stop there. In fact, He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness! He only asks that we humbly turn to Him with our hearts and lives.
And why wouldn’t we want to do that?
(for more info on knowing God, go to: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/knowing-god/