This morning I woke up way too early (4:30am!) and my mind was bombarded with several failures of my past. I had flashbacks of many moments that I wished could be erased or at least that I could go back and redo. Half asleep, I tried to rally my thoughts and gain proper footing. My heart was saddened with the memories. I think it will always be, for there was nothing good in these moments of selfishness and pride. But, and there is a but, these were not the end of the story!
Each moment of life can be separated out as a snapshot in time, an instagram post with no explanation of the why or the where of the image. Each moment though has another attached to it on either side and each of those do as well. If I were to take a few steps out I would find that the images connected like dominoes, creating a story board of motion and revealing a greater perspective than any one image could have on its own. That is the reality of life.
What I saw in my half comatose state, were up-close, snapshots without any context attached to them. They were flipping by so quickly, reminding me of the dark moments of much larger scenarios... reminding me of things that I could have done better!
Today is Good Friday. This has always been a sobering day for me, largely due to being raised in a home that was very careful to honour its memory of one of the most significant moments in history, the day that Jesus Christ was crucified. As a moment in time, it was beyond sad, it was wrong, it was cruel and, it was a dark stain of injustice on humankind. This innocent man was unjustly tried and murdered.
These moments in time can give the great impression that somehow darkness had won and that the devil had gained prominent status. I suppose, as a snapshot, that is what seemed to be apparent in this case.
What one has to do though, is to stand back and observe the broader picture, the complete story as far as we have told us, viewing the history leading up to the event and the cascade of moments sprouting off of it. From that vantage point, even the darkest day can often find a greater purpose, even a victory. Think of all the sacrifices made over the years by valiant soldiers giving their lives to rid us of a pressing evil...
In this moment of history, Jesus Christ, the son of God, gave his life willingly as a sacrifice for humanity's selfish ways, gaining us eternal freedom. He was a sinless man who took on our sins, our moments of selfishness and pride and paid for them with his life. He was the perfect sacrifice, saving us from ourselves.
Now, I can soberly take my moments of sin (past or present) to this same Jesus and find that I am forgiven and released from the eternal offense of them. I can also find that my mind, though sad at memories of failure, does not feel guilty anymore. Jesus paid the price for them and there is nothing left for me to be condemned about.
Such news is good and brings my heart and head peace! Maybe that's why it wasn't long before I fell back to sleep again :)
This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.
There's a verse in Isaiah 41 that has messed with my head for a long time! You see, in this portion of scripture, God is busy assuring Israel of His help, comfort and deliverance. He repeatedly encourages them, telling them not to be afraid of the future and that He is holding them. Then, in verse 14 He comes out with this, "Fear not, you worm Jacob...!" Why would God say that to them?!
So, I went searching and found the meaning of the word... The original word (Towla) according to Strong's is: worm, scarlet stuff, crimson. Now this gets really good, so keep reading... Listen to what is written as explanation to the above meaning:
"the worm "coccus ilicis" ++++ When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding His precious blood that He might "bring many sons unto glory" (Heb. 2:10) (from page 73, "Biblical Basis for Modern Science", 1985, Baker Book House, by Henry Morris)
Isn't this amazing! This word wasn't used by God to mock or shame Israel, but to purposely prophesy & affirm that He had chosen them to be the very lineage of Jesus.
Take time to ponder this passage. Jesus has laid His life down, shed His crimson blood for us to have life now & forever. He protects us (Psalm 36:7), died for us (John 12:24), shed His blood for us (Colossians 1:19-21) and now lives again through us (Colossians 1:26-28).
What a wonderful Saviour! What incredible love...
"Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob? Don't be afraid. Feel like a fragile insect, Israel? I'll help you. I, GOD, want to reassure you. The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel." Isaiah 41:14 MSG
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5