Y’all… can we talk about the Author of our story. Because, I just have a strong need to sit right at His feet and stare right into His face and hang right on His every Word… Right. About. Now.
There is no other name under heaven and earth by which man can be saved. He was at the beginning with God. And, He is God. He was before creation and at creation and He is the Word, made flesh come to dwell among His creation. He is the exact representation of God, The Father. Everything that is made, was made through Him and He is holding all things together.
His Name is above all names and He alone is worthy of all praise. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. He is the great I AM. He is THE way to The Father, but He left His Father and Heaven to make a way for His creation.
His Love knows no limits and His Mercy and Grace no bounds. He gave sight to the blind, healing to the broken, and life to the dead. He brought the truth of God’s Kingdom to earth and He exposed our kingdom for all its lies. He taught us how to live, how to die, how to pray… and, He prayed to His Father for us before He went willingly to that cross instead of us. He asked that we live with Him and be ONE with Them and see His glory… and He promised to prepare a place for us when He headed home for Glory.
He is perfect in all of His ways and without sin – YET, spoke no word, because WE were the guilty and He was willing to die the death that we deserved. He was spat on and cursed at, beaten and broken, nailed through and hung up like the worst of the worst. All for US. All for our very sin. And, yeah that very sin separated Him from His Father, but still He lived forgiving when the criminal asked it of Him… or, even when they didn’t, as He asked His Father to forgive those who’d hung him up to begin with. (Luke 23:34)
His earthly punishment and death brought us forever forgiveness and life. He made the final sacrifice. His dying tore the division between creation and The Creator. A top to bottom tear in the temple curtain, ushering in a bottom to top Kingdom for the least of these. He confounds the wise by calling the foolish. He brings high those that are lowly, strength to those that are weak and hope to all who are weary. Simply put, when man could not find the way, He finally made a way, declaring those final words, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
He brought light into the darkness and He, Himself, is The Light of Life… The Light through which those who see Him, see the world. He broke the chains of death and set the captives free and He sits at the right hand of God, living to make intercession for every one of these. He is all that is beautiful and all that we need and His Cross is all that we boast in because, by IT we have been freed.
So, whether we’re struck by the brokenness in our own story or captivated by its awe and beauty… may we always remember how the Glory revealed by The Cross in Christ’s Story makes just the sight of ours even a glorious possibility.
How, by bearing our punishment and carrying our cross, He has lifted our burden and made our yoke light.
How, by wearing the crown of thorns, He has clothed us in dignity, strength, and His Robe of Righteousness.
How, by giving up His Life, we now can live ours guilt-free, shame-free, sin-free… free from any worry and free from all fear.
How, by giving up His Spirit, we have become full of the fruit of The Holy Spirit.
How, by giving up His power, we have received power to demolish our strong-holds, battle any enemy, and crush all darkness.
How, through His Holiness, we can become holy – set apart from this kingdom and completely accepted into His.
And, how through faith in His Final Sacrifice, we can now live fully alive for His Kingdom… filled with hope, abounding in love, and steadfast in prayer. We can walk the path laid out just for us, but never alone because He is ahead, behind, and hemming us in on all sides. We can rest secure knowing we are loved higher, deeper, and wider than anything we can ever imagine and that He waves a banner of love over us while leading us into His banquet hall. We can hear His Voice as He sings and rejoices over us and welcomes us to His table because we are the apple of His eye. We can trust that we are known and seen beyond even what we can know and see ourselves and that there is no place we can go that He won’t follow… no depth too low, no pit too deep, no distance too far, and no mountain too high. We can receive His assurance that His perfect love covers us, protects us, lifts us, grows us, enables us, and strengthens us… and, that it will never fail.
Listen y’all… I didn’t get this for the longest time. Deep in my spirit, I mean. I didn’t believe it or receive it, but I do now and I truly hope you do, too. IN Christ we are so unbelievably wealthy and complete and loved. And, we know we didn’t earn it, so we can’t ever lose it. Even (and, especially!), on our worst, most broken down of days. Because, it’s all about Jesus… all about the Faithfulness and Grace of Our Father, through Christ Jesus. It is His Character – His Glory. Who He is at the center of Himself. And, He does the drawing and the equipping and He is remaking our character to resemble His. So let’s lay at the foot of The Cross and lay hold of The Cross and begin our story at The Cross and make our center Jesus and The Cross. Then, we can see ourselves in His Story and use our story for His Glory.*
YES and Amen!!
P.S. Ha! Is there even such a thing on a blog?? There is now, I guess, because seriously… I left out the best part. His best name. My favorite really. The Prince of Peace. And not just that…He, Himself, is our peace! And, how I ever forgot that, I’ll never understand. But, thankfully we have P.S’s!! YES, YES and Amen!!!
* This post was inspired by a talk John Piper gave at Shelby Farms in May of 2000. Also, it includes too many scripture references to mention, so I didn’t. I would encourage you to look into both ❤