Friday, April 2, 2010

He Lives in Me!©

It's Easter, which means once again we remember what happened on the cross that fateful day. For most of my life I was encouraged in church, to get in touch with what happened to Jesus on my behalf. So many times I tried to "feel" the cross and what happened there. I tried to picture Jesus up on it, looking down at me covered in sin, saying, "I forgive you."

I tried to see His love for me through it all, but all I could see was my sin, my shortcomings.
Too many times I'd heard people say if I continued in sin, then Jesus died in vain. After all He died to take away my sins. If I continued to live in them, what then was the point of His death?

I felt horrible that Jesus had to be in that place because of me. I hated that my wicked sin had caused Him to go to the cross. Every Easter it was the same, I was to remember what MY sin cost Jesus. Each time I struggled with the thoughts that if I had never sinned Jesus would not have had to die. I tried to get in touch. I wanted to feel the weight so that it would change me forever.

If I could somehow grasp the greatest sacrifice of all, maybe it would cause me to be better, serve more, be more grateful. Instead it just left me feeling guilty that I couldn't get in touch enough to be all those things.

I had no idea that the cross wasn't really about my sins. That is until grace knocked on the door of my heart. Grace opened a door into a room where love could be realized. New life stood outside waiting. Grace invited me in to see what the cross was really about.

It wasn't for my sin that Jesus went to the cross and died. It was for me. Sin was the ransom that had to be paid to get to me. A fierce love that would do whatever it took to take me back into the embrace of love took Jesus to the cross that fateful day. He wanted to love me. When He looked on me, it wasn't my sin He saw. It was me.

My sins never are and never will be His focus. My heart will be. Sin doesn't change the way He sees me. After all love keeps no record of wrongs. Sin keeps me from living in His embrace. With it comes shame. Shame is a barrier that keeps me from living in who He has made me to be. Jesus came to remove the barrier to bring me back to love. That's what the cross is about.

He came to heal the broken-hearted. He came to set the prisoners free from their captivity; to restore ashes into beauty. He came to give me what I was always meant to know; true love.

The cross was HUGE but without the resurrection it would just be another man who died on a cross. What set Jesus apart from the other men who were executed that day was that He conquered death, hell and the grave. He conquered it all. It was finished once and for all!

I was crucified with Christ. All that was required of me was finished. I don't have to try to be better on my own. I was raised with Him to new life. Christ now lives in me. He will live out of me. I am invited to live by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me.

The finished life of Christ in me, loving me as I am into who He knows me to be; that's the invitation of Easter. That I can feel. That I can picture. That I can rejoice over.

For by grace I have been saved.
©copyrighted: 2010; Julie L. Todd



16 comments:

Wanda said... Reply to comment

Beautiful post!

Debbie said... Reply to comment

Julie, what a wonderful post this is. When I quit fighting Him and allowing Him full control in my life, it makes all the difference. None of my attempts at trying work. It's when I give up on myself and allow Him to work in and through me. That's grace and how I love it.

Happy Easter to you,
Debbie

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

This is beautiful!

May you have a joyous Easter!

Much love,
Amy

Sharon said... Reply to comment

I am reading this with goosebumps going down my arms...beautiful...and the last three paragraphs touched me where I needed it.
Happy Easter to you and your family! See you on the 13th!

Christina said... Reply to comment

wow. that was so on time. i dont think i ever internalized that Jesus died for me. He conquered sin and death for a relationship with us. thats what it took to get us.

wow. talk about love. and another reason to trust Him with my whole self.

^_^

christy rose said... Reply to comment

Julie, this was just beautiful! The finished Life of Christ in me is what makes Easter a time to celebrate!
Amen

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

Have a blessed Easter with those you love.

I enjoyed reading your heart as always.

Yes, by grace you have been saved.

Hugs and love from Colorado.

Kathy S. said... Reply to comment

Julie,
Beautiful post!

He didn't die for our sin, He died to conquor sin, and deliver us from is destructive power! Chains are gone...been set free...<3
Halleluiah!

Happy Easter!

Alece said... Reply to comment

"My sins never are and never will be His focus. My heart will be." so, so beautiful. and so, so freeing.

happy easter, julie!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Resurrection joy to you, Jewelzie! I love you! He is risen!

Connie Barris said... Reply to comment

Galatians 2:21 has become very dear to my heart

Julie... this is so beautiful..you and I are definitely kindred spirits... hey?

love ya

sparrow girl said... Reply to comment

This is a wonderful post and it encouraged me! Sin isn't on Jesus' mind - WE are! '

Thank you for posting!

Love, Sparrow

Bretta said... Reply to comment

Beautiful, my friend! Love you :o)

Karen said... Reply to comment

Hope you enjoyed a Resurrection Day that was blessed!

Jo Princess Warrior said... Reply to comment

I struggled for years with guilt of what Jesus had to do for my sins on the cross- until I really understood grace. How liberating it is to know that He did it for my heart, not my sins. xo

Aine Willis said... Reply to comment

I love the way you worded this ... it's not my sin He sees, He sees me. Thank you! I will keep that in my mind. Shame does seperate us and remembering that He sees me and not my sin ... that makes all the difference.