11/9/2016 0 Comments
Last weekend, I went with my mom to visit my uncle. Because he’s an amazing human being, he took us to a few stores, set us free, & waited on us to finish shopping. I picked out a purse. I fully intended to pay for this purse (had the card picked out & everything). I don’t pick up anything that I can’t afford. We get to the register, and he tells me he’s paying for my purse. Me? Oh I’m elated (thank ya JEEESUS!!!). I put my wallet up, grabbed my freshly purchased purse, and went along my precious way. However, the longer I thought about how I got that purse, the more I thought about Jesus. Not just because He made a way for me to get a new purse, but because what my uncle did for me is only a picture of what He did for me over 2000 years ago.
See, a burden had to be taken on in order for me to carry that purse. There’s a literal purchase price attached to it. In order for me to carry it out the store, they had to receive some form of payment. The same is true for salvation. To make the longest of stories short, mankind messed up (it’s one thing we’ve done consistently well). So there was a division of sin between God & man (let’s call it a veil). Therefore, there was this extensive, highly specific process that people had to go through in order to hear from God (and stay on His good side). You had to kill animals, send priests into tabernacles and stuff. It was quite the process, k? Then….Jesus showed up. Yeah, He said a few prayers, healed a few people, and tore up a few things, but He came here to bear a burden. He was a physical representation of God. He was a physical representation of the Word. So, Jesus, the Word, became flesh so that He could know what it is to feel what we feel. He looked like us. He went through what we go through. He fought the battles we have to fight. All of this work…and that was just preparation.
The 33 years Jesus spent on this planet prepared Him to bear the burden of our sins on the cross. That’s the purchase price for our ‘bags’: forgiven sins. That’s what we needed in order to have the complete access to God that we have available to us today. We don’t need to run out & find an unfortunate sheep because through His death, Jesus made things right between God & man. He ripped the veil in the temple. He broke down the wall, and every barrier that had stood between us & the Father for so long. When He died, the shame connected to everything that we have done, everything that we may be doing right now, and everything that we will do died with Him. Condemnation died with Him. Hopeless failure? Died with Him. It was a price that we couldn’t pay, because we weren’t perfect. Luckily, perfect is now the goal, but I’m so grateful it’s not a requirement to get to God (that’s why we pray ‘in Jesus’ name’ - He’s got it covered). Then, after He paid for something I needed, but could never afford, the Man had the audacity to rise from the grave days later, and show the world that He’s still available to carry our burdens throughout eternity.
While my uncle paid for my bag, there’s still a burden that comes with carrying it….literally. I have a habit of putting…a variety of objects in my purses. So, from time to time, they get pretty heavy. My uncle & I live in 2 different cities, so while he paid for it, he can’t carry this bag for me all over the place (honestly, he could live in my house & it wouldn’t be an option, but still lol). However, Jesus is a little different. 1 Peter 5:7 instructs us to cast all of our cares on Him, because He cares enough about us to bear our burdens and win on our behalf. Jesus said it Himself in Matthew 11:28-30! He literally told all of us with ‘heavy bags’ to come to Him because His burdens are lighter than our own (sidenote: yes, Christianity is a burden, but the rewards of walking with Him are greater than the rewards of walking on your own - trust me). None of this requires you to be perfect. It doesn’t require a title. You don’t need a pulpit or a microphone. All He’s waiting on you to do…is come to Him. He’s simply waiting on you to admit that while this may be over your head, it’s under His feet. If you’ve never accepted Him, He’s waiting on you to say ‘Father, I recognize that I’ve sinned, but I also believe that you died for my sins. Please forgive me, come into my heart, make me whole, and help me to live for you for the rest of my life.’ (or something to that effect - believe in your heart, confess with your mouth - Rom. 10:9). There’s not a burden He can’t carry. There’s not a sin He can’t wash clean. It’s not a question of if He can do it; it’s a question of if you believe in Him enough to take the new bag, and let Him know when it gets heavy.
I love my new purse, but I can lose it. I could somehow leave it somewhere. It could somehow get stolen, and I would never see it again. However, do you know what I can never lose? My relationship with Christ. My joy has gotten stolen, but I’ve always gotten it back. I’ve let go of my peace a couple of times, but I’ve always gotten it back. The day I really decided to have a relationship with Jesus, He gave me a gift that I could never lose. He gave me grace that never grows old. He gave me peace that doesn’t even make sense. He gave me joy that exists independent of my situation. Most importantly, His death on Calvary gave me open access to the very God of Heaven. You have it to. It’s not a question of if you have the gift. The question is: do you believe in it enough to use it?
Background Music: Jesus Paid It All - Kirk Franklin
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