The Lenten Season, pt. 2

In the next few weeks leading up to Easter, I’d like to give greater insight into the Crucifixion, in the hope that the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice becomes more real to you. Here is Part 2:

I’m hoping that you took time to read and re-read Deuteronomy 28, covering the curse of the Law. And if you happened to have read the chapters preceeding it, you’d have found that there were several passages devoted to blessings and curses. They can be summarized this way ~ God told Moses to convey this message to the people: “If you keep my commandments, you will be blessed. If you do not keep my commandments, you will be cursed.”

Human nature will respond to that one of two ways. You’ll either think ‘Oh, I’m pretty good. I should be able to keep those commandments; it’ll be tough, but I’ll try real hard.’ Or, you’ll read it and think ‘There’s absolutely no way I’m capable of that. I’ve never been able to keep all the rules; I’m in trouble.’

Either way, because of your humanness, you WILL fail in your attempts to keep every law and every commandment.

Which is precisely the way God designed it.

He knew that we would never be perfect. So He sent His perfect Son, JESUS, to be perfect for us. The laws and commandments are instruments that reveal our need for help. For example, say you chose to give up sweets during Lent. You made a rule for yourself that for the next 40 days, you won’t have one single sugary thing. Have you ever been so attracted to sweets in all of your life as you were the minute you decided not to have any? That’s our true sin nature at work. You musn’t get frustrated and discouraged with yourself; instead, use it as the basis for incredible gratitude for what Jesus did.

Our inner core, the intricate workings of our mind and psyche were created with a desire for justice. We’re designed with a need to see consequences for every wrong committed, whether in ourself or others. That’s why it’s so difficult for many people to accept that Jesus paid the penalty for all of our sins Himself. He was innocent, but took all of our guilt. And like most of you, I myself haven’t ever violated governmental laws of our land that result in incarceration, so it might be tempting to overlook the full impact of His bearing the brunt of my sins, thinking they’re just ‘little’ sins (no such thing, by the way). But since He bore the sins of all of mankind, allllllll of us, I guarantee those criminals who committed a heinous crime against the most innocent victims have a greater appreciation for someone who willingly purchases his/her freedom. Jesus paid the price for all of us. Galatians 3:13, 14 says so: “Christ redeemed us (purchased our freedom) from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (crucified) – so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to us…” Remember, back in your reading of Deuteronomy, the blessings/curses was an either/or scenario. So you’re now eligible to receive the blessings, which by default means you’re no longer subject to the curses.

Plain and simple: If you have chosen to accept Jesus as Lord of your life, you are trading all of your sins, shortcomings, failures, misses…whatever you want to call it, every single wrong you commit that qualifies you to read from the ‘Curse’ list, and you give all of that over to Jesus because He already covered every single one of your sins when he hung on that cross for you. In exchange, you are now free to read from the ‘Blessed’ list as you prepare for your future. That’s all there is to it! Don’t reject the incredible opportunity to receive a free gift thinking it sounds too good to be true. For once, in all of life, this really IS something too good, but it’s 100% true.

In Part 3, we’ll delve a little deeper into those blessings and curses.

 

 

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