Me: “Jesus, how can you love me and forgive me when I’m so wicked?”
Jesus: “Was it enough? Was my death enough of a punishment for your wickedness?”
Me: “…Yes, Lord.”
One of my favorite movies as a kid was Braveheart. My heart broke when William Wallace (a freedom fighter for the Scottish) was brutally tortured. Instead of begging for mercy, his last words were a guttural scream… “Freedom!!!” Many men have died for the cause of freedom. Only one man’s death was freedom itself. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, allowed himself to be brutally crucified, to pay for humanity’s sins. In fact, He became SIN on the cross, and died with it. Perfection was marred, all for my freedom…your freedom. The debt was settled, paid in full. And then to give us power over death, Christ came back to life. Boom, death conquered. No need to fear death if you’ve given your life to Jesus.
So the conversation with Jesus at the beginning of this post, I had with the Lord tonight. There are days when I feel pretty good about myself. In my pride, I don’t think about the cross a lot. I feel secure. There are just as many or even more days where I feel like the scum of the earth. On those days I question the cross. Like tonight, I ask Jesus how all of His salvation could be real. How can I trust that His grace will catch me? I heard Him loud and clear tonight.
“Was my death enough?”
As I thought of the brutality of the cross, the shame of mockery, and the loneliness of being forsaken by God the Father, I knew…it was enough. It is enough. I deserve that punishment. Sin stinks. The seed of sin carries the potential to grow into the grossest of humanity’s crimes. Lust grows into rape, adultery, and every sexual perversion. Bitterness, anger, and prejudice grow into murder and cruelty. Jealousy…gossip…you name it…they all carry the worst in them. When God sees the seed of sin He sees the weed it can grow into. Hatred equals murder. Lust equals adultery. There is no middle ground…no white lie. All sin deserves to die. You and I carry and breed sin. We deserved the stripes, the crown of thorns, the nakedness, and the nails. That’s justice. But we didn’t get what we deserved, did we? No. Jesus took the whipping for us. That’s grace. That’s mercy. God purged our poison with His own blood. It was enough. It is enough.
My Dad was old school. I got spanked with a belt whenever I did wrong. He never abused me and he never left bruises. Dad had a rule: three swats and that was it. It didn’t matter how bad I had been or if I fussed during the spanking, three swats and no more. The punishment was over.
I wrote a post awhile back about why my family doesn’t use spanking as a punishment anymore. You can read it here: http://amberdover.com/2014/05/25/why-we-dont-spank-anymore-a-conservative-mothers-confession/
But as I think about my childhood, I remember that I didn’t have to worry that Dad would keep punishing me for the same sin over and over. When the whipping was over I’d apologize, have a good cry, and get a hug. I learned my lesson, and usually didn’t repeat the same mistake that often. Though I surely discovered new ways to frustrate my Dad daily, poor Dad, God rest his soul. The point is: when the debt was paid it was over. There was nothing else to fear. I didn’t have to mope about in shame. Time to move on.
Jesus took the one and only whipping we needed. It’s done. No more shame. No hell to fear. Time to move on. Time to live. We just have to believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is LORD. The problem is that we whip ourselves. Some of us refuse to accept Jesus’ payment. We’d rather sort it out on our own, but friend, you can’t. You can’t do this life on your own. You need God. You need Jesus. I need Him. Refusing Christ is like a thirsty man refusing water in the desert.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
For more on what Christ did for you and how you can become a Jesus follower read here: