I woke up yesterday with you on my heart.
I know how you’re feeling. You think you can never overcome whatever it is that holds you captive. You’re so weighed down by your past mistakes that it seems impossible to move forward. You’re overwhelmed by the feeling that you’ll never be able to do enough good to earn forgiveness, that God could never love you after what you’ve done.
I need to tell you that you couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here’s the thing: we have an enemy. His name is satan. And he wants to do everything in his power to make us turn from God. The name satan means “adversary” or “accuser”. His job is to constantly make us feel shame and guilt, and to make us believe that it is coming from God. If satan can make you dwell on past mistakes, to the point where you think that God can’t forgive you, then he is getting exactly what he wants. Don’t let him have that satisfaction!
Something that I have come to learn is that the closer we try to get to Christ, the more satan will try to fight for us to fall short. He’ll sneak into our minds with the memory of something we forgot that we did, and then make us feel guilty about it. He’ll find an insecurity and remind us of it until we feel that it defines us. He’ll see something that we struggle with and make it nearly impossible to avoid.
But there is good news: We have a Saviour, and He has overcome the enemy!
Jesus was betrayed by His closest friends. He was mocked and beaten. The same people who praised Him with palm branches now yelled “Crucify Him!” He was given a crown of thorns. Nails were driven into His hands and His side was pierced with a sword. He hung on that cross, and He bore all of our sin and our shame and our guilt, and suffered the death that we deserve.
Yet, He said “Father, forgive them!”
And then His final words: “It is finished.”
It is finished! Not, “Alright, it’s your turn now!”
FINISHED. COMPLETED. FINALIZED. The Greek word is Tetelestai, which is an accounting term meaning “paid in full”.
We owe nothing more. He has cleansed us completely of our sin and our shame. When we come to the cross and we lay our brokenness and our sin at the His feet, He washes as white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18) Our debt is paid. We are covered by His blood and by His grace.
To think that we need to earn His forgiveness is like saying that His sacrifice wasn’t enough. It minimizes how substantial His gift for us was. When He said it was finished, He meant it. There is nothing more we need to contribute, only our wholehearted devotion to Him.
Romans 8:38-39 says this, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We are never too far gone from Him that His love + grace cannot reach us. His forgiveness is waiting there for you, all you need to do is ask.