My eyes have been opened to the depth of the gospel in the past year. Really most of this growth has happened since March 8, the day my Dad entered His Glorious presence. What a lucky man my Dad is to live in Jesus’ kingdom and gaze at the Reason for everything. Joe Lemsky put his hope in Jesus, and that’s reason to celebrate. My Dad’s passing has been essential for opening the eyes of my heart to the Hope to which God has called me (Ephesians 1:18).
Jesus is enlightening me to the depths of His Story. I’ve heard the Cross preached–I am an utter sinner who put Jesus to death. I’ve understood Jesus leaving His throne, His paradise, His reputation to be born in a barn surrounded by animal dung as a helpless babe. I’ve even understood that He lived a perfect life in perfect obedience to the Father–the life I can’t live. I know Jesus not only gave me a clean slate when He died, but He gave me His perfect record.
But what I didn’t understand is Now What. Now I have a perfect record. Now I’m not held captive to my sin. But, how come I seem to fail? How come I felt guilty for the sins I committed yesterday? Why did I even commit those sins? I’m impatient. I’m angry. I’m selfish. I’m harsh. I’m anxious. I’m impulsive. I’m self-righteous. Why did I feel like I pulled the wool over God’s eyes when He forgave me?
I was missing the entirety of the gospel. Yes, Jesus left His throne. He lived a sinless life. He was crucified in my place. What am I missing?
Here’s the rest of the Story: Jesus defeated sin and death through His resurrection. I’m not characterized by this sin–the guilt I feel is not from God. Though suffering and sin fill my day there is joy in the morning. Joy is coming.
And He ascended. Jesus’ victorious rule gives me hope. This isn’t it. I don’t need to prove my worth anymore–by the power of the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead I am being made new. I am becoming the woman God has called me to be.
And He’s coming back to establish His kingdom. Jesus will wipe away every tear from my eyes. He will make all sad things come untrue. He will lock the casket on death. He will rule!
The gospel tells me I am wicked. I’m an idolater. I’m working out my own righteousness. I’m building my own kingdom and desiring the worship of others. Bad news. BUT, the gospel also tells me I am Loved and accepted. I am adopted into God’s family. My sins have already been paid for and Jesus lived perfectly in my place. Jesus sought only his Father’s approval and He built his kingdom for his glory. This record is mine. This is my true identity.
“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” -Tim Keller