So this website blog is about my life. Well, in reality my new life- my new vita. ‘What?’ you may ask. ‘New life? Does this mean you had, well, an old life?” Yep, I guess you can say so. Read on; allow me to explain.
I never considered myself a rebel. Reared in a religious home, obeyed rules—well, broke a lot, but I always seemed to make up for it later, or at least justify my choices. And I was a good girl—yeah, I was a pretty good person, especially from God’s perspective. I studied God, spent time in his church, even memorized his words! You know, pretty soon I knew enough and was far enough in my “walk” with God that I didn’t really need him anymore. If I was able to “atone” for my own mess-ups, why did I need a God to help me? Sure, I didn’t want to get on his bad side, but I was able to call the shots just as well as he did. Little did I realize, I became my own god—I had just de-godded, God. I was on the throne calling the shots, and God was my label, because life just worked best for me that way. A rebel? No way—the only rebels were those that didn’t see life my way or tried to tell me what to do. And especially those that tried to tell me that I was rebelling against God. Didn’t like those people.
Then I learned some things about the cross. The cross? What does that have to do with anything? Well, if I claim to accept God, then I must understand what he accomplished through the cross. Ok, so the cross is where the Son of God, Jesus, was crucified—he had to die for the sins of the world. So he died for my sins. Yeah I believe that- so I’m saved. End of story.
Take a closer look at the cross, Angela. Why the cross? Why punishment? Well, I know that God is a just, perfect and holy God, but since God is perfectly just, that means that all wrongs must be paid for, there must be a punishment. I know this—I watch CSI and want justice meted out to the wrong doers. A life for a life. Yet what are these wrongs? Lying, cheating, sexual immorality, stealing, idolatry. . . idolatry. What exactly is that, bowing down to a makeshift idol? No, it’s idolatry of the heart. Its when I de-god God. I overthrow his rule, put myself in his place, and actually become my own idol. The highest treason against a King. Really?? So, what’s the penalty for treason? The death penalty? No- no way, I haven’t done really bad things, I just, well, view myself as the ultimate authority in my life. I still do good—is that so wrong? “Treason. Rebel. Idolater.” The accusations are true. Guilty. The Judge looks at me and speaks the sentence- “she must die.” I stand in condemnation under the just wrath of Almighty King and God. Helpless. Hopeless.
“Wait…I will pay”. Who said that? Is that a cross—Jesus?
The Judge answers, “She has committed the highest crime against me and justice must be wrought. She wears the robes of condemnation. And yet . . . there is Way; I sent you to do my will, to show grace and love and mercy. What do you offer?”
Jesus: “My life. I know that I am covered in righteous robes of holiness, righteousness and purity, so I will give them to her and take her robes of condemnation off her. I will wear them, become her sin, take your cup of wrath—all while hanging on the cross of shame.”
Judge: “Yes- I am satisfied with this. My perfect justice demands fulfillment, yet my perfect love offers the cross and forgiveness. Become her sin and I will accept this substitution.”
Jesus: “Yes, please forgive her. With joy I will become the substitute.”
Here is a crossroads for me- do I accept this love, this life spent in my place? I do need salvation from this wrath! Yet if I accept, then Jesus owns my life. That’s what happens when someone saves another’s life. We will have a relationship unlike any other in my life. He would become my treasure, and I would be his. Do I keep my idolatry, or do I accept his love?
I cry out to him, “Jesus I want your robes! I am a rebel, abuser of your goodness and grace. filthy and wretched robes weigh me down. Take them—become my shame so that I can have new life. Undeserved. You now own me, and I love you because of who you are, because of that love.”
Yes, the cross is so much more to me now. It symbolizes new life in Christ, free from guilt, shame, and death. I am loved, I am secure—and because of this, I am a debtor to mercy.
I have new life.