As I sorted through the mail the bill stood out. What happened? I thought it was taken care of. Why am I getting another one of these? I opened it with hesitation, concerned about what I might find. But there it was in black and white. I had a zero balance. My debt was paid in full. There was nothing left to owe. I knew it had come for a reason. I heard it loud and clear. “Your debt is paid, Jewel.” “You don’t owe a thing.”
For years I spent all my efforts trying to pay a debt I didn’t owe. I was trying to score points with a God who was no longer keeping score. The requirements that should have been placed on me were placed on Jesus. I am free to be. Why didn’t I know that? How did I live so long and not know?
We are free to be. The church has ruined this, you know.
I read it all over the place in the community called Christianity. “Do more, give more, pray more, read your Bible more.” How does all that fit in with Jesus’ words, “It is finished.”
What was finished? Was it just Jesus’ life and sin? Could it be that what was finished was the separation of man from God’s unconditional love? After all, didn’t He leave us with the words: "I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for me may be in them and I myself may be in them.”* Isn't it really all about living in love? If we lived fully loved wouldn't we do those things anyways?
Adam and Eve lost sight of God’s perfect love when they entered into sin. The path was now blocked. But Jesus, He restored what was lost. He fulfilled the requirements of the law, bridging the cavern between earning and embracing. He now invites us to enter in and just be loved.
When I used to think of the cross I saw my sins. It was the emphasis after all. Because I was so bad Jesus had to leave His heavenly home and come to earth to take away my sins. Wasn’t it love that brought Him here?
To think that when He went to the cross it was my face He saw astounds me. It wasn’t my sins that took Him to the cross. He loved me so deeply that He could not bear to have me separated from Him any longer. So He came, swept me up and invited me to dwell in His embrace.
I love the movie “The Last of the Mohicans”. One scene in particular always speaks to me. Magua, the enemy is coming after Cora and her sister. He’s seeking to kill them because he has an issue with their father. Nathaniel and the Mohicans are with them. He’s fallen in love with Cora. Suddenly they discover that their ammunition is wet. In order to save Cora , Nathaniel will have to leave her. He says to her, “stay alive, I will find you.” They jump over the waterfall in order to rescue. It is love that drives Nathaniel forward. The look in His eyes, the passion on His face. He will not be stopped until she is free.
I love that scene because I know that is Jesus with me. He will not be stopped until I am free. My sin was not His focus. I was. My sins separated me from Him. He had to pay their debt in order to get to me.
He came that I might know love. “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”* Papa God has loved me even as He loves Jesus. It's stunning. What will I do with that? Will I question, doubt or believe? It is a life or death question.
He moved heaven and earth to get to me. He gave up His very life, not for the sake of sin, but for the sake of Me. The invitation is extended. I am invited to know how deeply and intimately I am loved.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
©copyrighted: 2009 Julie L. Todd