The power of the cross is alive this morning as I sit in my kitchen and drink my coffee. I need the continual reminder that God is enough. That’s all I need. When hurts of my past come and bruise my present, when shame swells inside me and makes me want to run and hide, God’s love is enough. I am free because he took it all on the cross all those years ago.
Logically this message doesn’t make sense. How could one person take all the sins of everyone living in the past and the future yet to come? Impossible! Absolutely it is impossible! But we are talking about God. He is the incomprehensible, undeniable, God of the universe that nothing is impossible for. By the way, we refer to him as He, but God is greater than any gender. He is the pronoun we use because we have nothing to explain Him. Even Moses asked God, who do I say you are? and God replies, “I am who I Am.” I Am – as in I am it all; I am all-inclusive, all-powerful, all everything! I am not man, woman, or child. The great “I am” is far superior to anything we can think.
I am not a bible scholar and only have a limited knowledge of the bible, so my information can be off. But my heart, my soul, sings the awe and majesty that is in Christ Jesus. I know what I felt and heard all those years ago at the Harvest Crusade at Angels stadium in Anaheim, California. I know that God is real. I guess you can call me a Jesus freak, but I really don’t think of myself that way. I love Jesus, but I am far from preaching and declaring that I am anything but a total mess trying to live a life worthy of the calling placed on me.
I hold solid to my belief that God will uniquely touch people in his or her own way and bring them to him. He will do everything to woo them to him. But he will respect and love each of us to make our own choice. It is not my job to win my family and friends to Christ. That job is Christ’s. I am to tell them about the wonders of God and how He has touched my life. The rest is up to God.
When my dad was dying, I did not know if he accepted Christ or not. He wasn’t a follower during his life. He wasn’t a perfect man by any stretch, but he was a good human being. He loved his family with a ferocity that was evident to all. A dear friend, a woman I really look up to, comforted me with words that she may not have even realized at the time. She said that she believes God will intervene up until that very last moment before someone dies. It is up to God and he will do everything in his power to win each person to Christ. Even if it is only minutes before they die.
My dad was in coma at the end. I choose to believe God tenderly took his hand and walked him into heaven. He looked at my dad with love in his eyes and saw through all the grime and dirt this life had imposed on him. I choose to believe God came to my dad in that coma and my dad ran into his arms. All the amazing parts of my dad, God made. God’s hand was all over my dad — just as it’s all over each of us.
His tender mercy isn’t a thing that can’t be realized. It is here, real, evident, if we choose to believe it. The morning sun, the song on the bird’s lips, the green that surrounds us right now … God’s image is everywhere. He does not see a black person, Hispanic person, man, woman, child, gay, straight, abortion, sexual sin…. God sees the person he knit together and has stamped with a purpose. He knows the aches of this world. He forgives us of everything! This is supernatural. There is no explanation for it.
Christ’s message is so simple that it is hard to believe. How can such a great gift come with so little effort on our part? Because God desperately loves you! It is a love that if we really feel it, would knock us to our knees in groaning ecstasy. It is a love that surpasses all loves known.
As Easter approaches, the reminder for each of us is profound: it is all about Him. Not because he needs an ego boost, but because He loves you so much! He needs you to know. He won’t ever stop searching for you. Anne Lamott (another favorite of mine) says that Jesus was like a stray cat that would never leave her alone. No matter what she did, there he was. So true! That is our Christ! He will search you down, leave the 99 and pursue you always. Feel it, know it, and then run to him right where you are. He will change you. You don’t have to do anything but accept him into your heart. Your feelings, desires, loves, and dislikes, will slowly change becoming more like him, but touched with your unique spin. It’s incredible!