"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)
There are those in our lives who seem to think that it is their duty to make sure we know just how badly we have failed. Some of our children love to inform us of each time we made a mistake in our parenting. Spouses remind us of each misstep we have taken or each word that we have said that they feel we shouldn't have said. Coworkers like to call our attention to errors as they seek to assure themselves that they would never have erred in the same way.
Sadly, forgiveness and compassion do not reign in many of our relationships. Low self-esteem is lowered even further as we take in each comment or action that makes us feel "less than." After awhile we begin to believe that we, ourselves, are failures, even before God.
If you are struggling with this today, I want to encourage you. The best way to do that is to remind you how precious and valuable you truly are.
Psalm 139 tells us just how close our Creator is to each of us, even from before conception. The second part of verse 16 says this, "...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." He knew us before. Before our birth. Before creation. Yet, knowing everything about us, still He gave us life. Would He have done that if He found no value in us?
As we are approaching Easter, we have even more to consider. After celebrating the birth of Jesus just a few months ago, we now turn our minds to why He left Heaven in the first place. Although a miracle, the baby in the manger did not stay there. His thirty-three years on earth were spent in ministry and teaching. He knew His time was limited to walk among His disciples. He came to close the gap between us and God by being the sacrifice needed to atone for the sins of mankind.
I recently saw an excerpt from the movie "The Passion of the Christ" which tells His story. As I was watching the soldiers beat, whip and lift the Savior up on that horrid cross, my heart wanted to scream out "NO!" He who never sinned took the punishment for each of us so that we might have forgiveness and eternal life if we repent and believe. Now, I ask you again, does that sound like the action of someone who found no value in us?
The love of the Lord, for you or for me, is so great that He would have endured the same torture if we were the only ones who needed it. Take that in for a moment. Before He hung a star in the sky, He knew you and every mistake, error or sin you would ever experience. And, yet, His forgiveness is true and complete as He reaches out His holy arms to you in a love and a joy that this world cannot offer.
Oh, beloved, as the days of existence on this orb grow fewer, I beg you to turn your face toward the One who offers an eternity of peace, and of never having to feel "less than" ever again. He is there. Waiting. Just for you.
In His Grace,