Sunday, September 21, 2014

Against You and You Alone

In a dimly lit sanctuary as the congregation sings to the Lord and I look at the wooden cross on the side of the stage, the one where many have nailed their sins and hurts, His words, “Forgive them father for they know not what they do,” replay in my mind.  They are still fresh in my mind after this post.  Then the words, ”Lord, against you and only you have I sinned,” fill my mind. 

For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong,
 and my guilt is there, staring me in the face.
It was against You, only You, that I sinned,
 or I have done what You say is wrong, right before Your eyes. Psalm 51:3-4

I realize in a deeper way that with every act of disobedience I have given a lashing to Jesus.  My sins are ultimately against Him.  I have marred his creation.  I am a graffiti artist vandalizing His people with my words and my actions.  He is the creator of all things.  When I disrespect, neglect, slander, and think evil thoughts about others I am marking up His creation. 

In this moment of realizing again that I am the one that slashed his back open with a whip and hammered his hands and feet to the cross, do you know what I hear?  He says come, come to me.  He opens his arms and invites me to put down the whip and the hammer and come to him.

My mind moves to the confession I made every Sunday in my little liturgical church, create in me a clean heart, oh Lord, and renew a steadfast spiritwithin me.

The one I have wounded and caused to bleed and who on that cross needed someone to dress his wounds, I now run to and ask to clean me up, to erase all my mistakes, and make me as white as snow. 

But he was pierced for our rebellion, 
 crushed for our sins.
 He was beaten so we could be whole.
 He was whipped so we could be healed.  Isaiah 53:5

And because of His great love for me and for you, He does.  He removes my sins and draws me near to Him and engulfs me in His compassion and tenderness.

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
 is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 
He has removed our sins as far from us
 as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.  Psalm 103:8-13

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