You deserve no grace, no second chances, and no forgiveness.
But, your Father loves you more than that.
You deserve to be beaten, bruised, and maliciously slandered.
But, your Savior took your place.
You deserve to be eternally punished and put to death for your sins.
But, the cross changes that.
Easter, the story behind it all, changes everything.
A long long time ago, your Father looked down on His creation and saw the sin that had entered it. The pride that filled the hearts of His people. The discouraging and brutal words that were spoken to one another. The tendency towards violence that led to war. The feelings of anger that turned people against one another. The idolatry that led to broken spirits and hurting relationships.
He saw me. He saw you. And with a heart so full of perfect love, decided to save us.
Without the cross and our Savior, we are nothing. Our life is for nothing.
Without it, we are buried so far under our sin that all freedom and hope is lost. All life is taken away.
Luckily, this is not where our story ends. It is only the beginning.
Jesus, the man who knew no sin, who walked this Earth loving perfectly and living a life full of grace willingly changed that.
His time here on Earth was spent healing, loving, and teaching. With a single touch or word, He did the unthinkable and performed miracles. With a generous smile and a posture of grace, He led others to the belief they could be set free. He was the One they had been waiting for.
He was betrayed by Judas- a follower and so-called friend of His. While crying out to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was arrested and taken before the high priest. This is where it all began.
The false accusations and lies told by others ultimately led people to condemn Him to a criminal’s death on the cross. Our most perfect and blameless Savior dying a criminal’s death.
Deciding death was simply not enough, the people decided to beat and mock Jesus. Whips penetrated His flesh until His skin was raw. A crown of thorns was pushed deep down into his scalp until blood ran down his face. The crowd yelled slanderous words at Him. He was mocked as those who hurt Him bowed down at His feet saying, “Hail! King of the Jews.” Their laughter rang out…
Here they were- jeering and heckling. Cheering for the crucifixion of THEIR Savior.
With energy and stamina lacking, and as His breaths became weaker, a 110 pound cross was thrust down on Him. Collapsing under the weight of our sins, with every fiber in His being He managed to lug the cross to His place of death. With pieces of wood splintering into His already raw skin, He carried the tool that would be used to kill Him. Words of hatred were being shouted from every direction. Every ounce of pride, hatred, selfishness, greed, idolatry, and lies that existed in the world were weighing on Him. Every step taken brought Him closer to His death. Closer to saving those who loved Him and those who hated Him.
As nails were pierced through His feet and hands, He yelled out in agony, unable to hide the unbearable pain of it all. With Jesus secured to the wooden cross, soldiers thrust it up into a standing position. It jarred His body and sent waves of shock and pain through every fiber. With His weight only being held up by the nails in his hands, the tearing and pressure put on the rest of His body was insufferable. This had to be the end of it. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” As those He was dying for continued to mock Him and anxiously await His final breath, His body slowed, and He knew that His job was done.
With the final word, “Tetelesti,” Jesus breathed His last breath and gave up His spirit.
“Tetelesti” meaning “It is finished.”
This Maliyah, is where our story begins. With this declaration.
At that exact moment, when that word was spoken, hope and freedom was restored.
When Jesus breathed His final breath, He became the sacrificial lamb for all current sin and future sin, offering us a grace filled life. One that isn’t full of condemnation. One that isn’t held to legalistic religious routines. But rather, one that is already perfected despite our constant failures.
This means that with the acceptance and declaration of Jesus Christ as our Savior and King, we are covered in grace, forgiven, and washed clean.
Nothing and nobody can hold us down. We get the privilege to spend eternity with our Father, and until then, joyfully and freely live a life here on Earth serving Him.
This epic moment in time tore down the wall that was separating our Father and us. There is no longer anything that can come between us and His perfect unfailing love.
This is what scandalous grace looks like.
Maliyah, this is freedom in the form of immeasurable love.
This is hope.
Because of the cross, you are free. Chains no longer bind you. You are simply invited to live for the cause of Christ. To live in order to further His kingdom and spread the good news. To be the example of grace and love that Jesus was.
This is unbridled joy.
Before the cross, you were nothing, but now you are everything.
You are a child of His. Perfectly loved and forgiven.
All my love,