Friday, April 18, 2014

NAILED

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God.
That’s what Jesus did.
~  Romans 6:6-11, MSG ~ 

Crucifixion.  This form of execution surely represents one of the most searing, agonizing forms of torture known to mankind.

While we who are living in our relatively pleasant, modern-day culture tend to shake our heads in disdain at the behavior of the Jewish and Roman authorities of that era, we ourselves have much to do with what was hung on that cross Good Friday.

True, many of us would hope we are heavenbound because we have never done anything deviant to the level of murder.  Still, our sin represents ANYTHING that falls short of the glory of God.  So you know what Jesus took upon himself, what is NAILED to that cross with him?
  • WORRY -- How many hours have you spent in agony worrying over your child with special needs?  Will they get better?  How are things going in school today?  What will happen to my child when I am gone?  Jesus told you all that worry cannot add a single minute to your life.  He promised that he's got you covered.  He died to set you free from that worry.  He who did not even spare his own life for you is trustworthy.
  • ENVY -- Oh, how easy it is for parents like us to desire what others have -- a lack of suffering, money for vacations, a seemingly painless life.  But in this fallen world, there is no such life.  We don't always see that the other person may actually be in an unenviable position in the final analysis.  That green-eyed monster was nailed to the cross with Jesus.  He has MUCH better plans for you than that.
  • PRIDE -- Our egos become bruised in more ways than can ever be counted.  Someone failed to use "people first language" in speaking to us about our child.  We are in a tough position and have to ask for help from charity again.  A teacher implied we aren't doing what we should be with our child.  We disagree with the way a doctor is treating our child.  All of those situations that humble us ought to really remind us that our pride was stripped off along with Jesus' garments and nailed to that cross as well.
  • SUFFERING -- Chronic illness and disability can bring untold amounts of suffering.  However, those trials DO NOT have the final say!  Those days where the agony of imperfection threatens to steal our joy, we need to wrestle it back.  God's perfect will took all of our suffering and nailed it to the cross with His Son.
Name anything, ANYTHING that falls short of God's glory.  It is that very thing that you are being separated from in the same slow, tortuous way, wishing for death, but having to endure the discipline of the gradual. 

The great promise is that once that deficit is nailed to the cross, YOU gain freedom.  How AWESOME is that?!  

Jesus died to set you and I free from that which we could never break free from ourselves.  While we feel grief recalling our own shortcomings and life's many disappointments, especially when it comes to our kids with special needs, the matchless HOPE Jesus created for us through his willing sacrifice ought to fill us with boundless joy and gratitude.

Today, allow your heart to swell with thankfulness and your eyes weep with elation as you meditate fully on all that the Savior did for you nailed to that cross.

PRAY:  Jesus, there are barely adequate words to thank You for the excruciating agony You suffered willingly in my place.  See my heart.  I offer You my gratitude for setting me free in ways I could never know through any effort of my own.

~ Barb Dittrich

Photo image courtesy of Ken Wolter via 123rf.com

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