Confession: I didn’t go to all the Easter services.
I celebrated Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning, of course—wouldn’t miss that for the world—but I didn’t go to the Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services. I do think they are worthwhile, and I appreciate our church staff for putting in the extra time and effort to create a meaningful experience for everyone, but my heart just felt too shaky this year to focus on the crucifixion for very long.
The weight of it. The pain of it. The truth of my role in Jesus’ death. Listen, if I had stood for even a second before the cross and beheld not only Jesus’ love for me, but His even greater commitment to the Father, my Father, I would’ve fallen apart and made a scene, so I chose just to know this time instead of dwell.
It’s so intensely personal, the Easter story, the beautiful truth that set me free when I was a child, that continues to set me free even as I continue to prove I don’t deserve it.
I know without a doubt I am a child of God, set apart as a result of the faith God gave me to believe the Gospel and make Jesus boss of my life, but no matter how hard I try or how much progress I make, I keep messing up. I’m not always aware of my sin in the moment, of course, but that doesn’t lessen its dissonance with God’s character, weaken its impact on those around me, or dilute the stench of it.
Ugh. It’s beyond frustrating!
Thanks to the Gospel, though, the Easter story, I don’t have to stay frustrated, mired in my own muck, powerless to move forward. When Jesus died, He died for all my sin, past, present, and future. His death brought me peace with God once and for all. His resurrection gave me new and eternal life.
All I have to do now is confess my sin as the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to it, walk away from it, and resume my pursuit of holiness with a clear conscience and light heart, confident not in my own ability to achieve it, but in God’s faithfulness to bring it about (Phil. 1:6). Today, in spite of the mistakes I made just this morning, I get to hand the Father my heart in worship and know deep down I’ve pleased Him.
Listen, the Enemy can try to discourage me all he wants—he’s currently making a good effort—but my mistakes no longer define me. Neither do the things that tempt. The cross does.
Today, tomorrow, forever, Easter continues. Praise God!