Sitting in church Easter Sunday morning, I remembered that Easter morning in church so many years ago. A blind evangelist visited and preached the sermon, making such a real presentation about the two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus. Even though I was only six at the time, I realized that I didn’t know Jesus as my personal Savior and that without Him, I would go to hell when I died. So that morning became my resurrection into the new life that Christ always brings.
This Easter Sunday I thought of what a difference that one decision made. My personhood today differs a lot from what it might have been without that decision. Certainly, I’m not right all the time but I do try to follow what’s right. I try to please God, being kind and helpful to others, at the same time fighting self-centeredness. Although I still sometimes say things without thinking, I try not to hurt other’s feelings.
Even though I’ve been loved my whole life by my parents and then my husband, some things happened that caused me to feel rejected and unworthy; some mild depression took over. But best news is that what Jesus did on that cross over two thousand years ago set me free from those feelings. He can set you free too.
Life happens and not all of it’s good. But Christ heals those broken and bruised places in our hearts. He gives us joy for mourning, a song in the night. That’s a big part of what He came to do for us. Yes, we have fire insurance so that we don’t go to hell when we die, but Jesus came to give us abundant life here on earth as well; and that abundance pours out to take away all the pain and hurt so we’re free from the burdens of the past and can walk into the future unhindered.
As a senior adult I still look forward to what God will continue to do in my life and the future He has planned for me. No matter your age, you can do that too!
These verses will help if you don’t understand this concept*:
John 3:16-18: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. 17 God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. 18 Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”
John 10:9-10: “I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for — will freely go in and out, and find pasture. 10 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
Isaiah 53:4-5: But the fact is, it was our pains he carried — our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. 5 But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him — our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.
Psalm 103:2-6: O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! 3 He forgives your sins — every one. He heals your diseases — every one. 4 He redeems you from hell — saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy — a paradise crown. 5 He wraps you in goodness — beauty eternal. He renews your youth — you’re always young in his presence. 6 God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet.
* All verses are from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.