And oh, what a happy Easter it is. Jesus is alive! He has overcome death. He has washed my sins away. He has granted me forgiveness and freedom. He rose from the dead.
There are some times when you reach a breakthrough in your relationship with the Lord. Right now is one of those times. God has been teaching me a lot of things, and it might hurt, but it is worth it, after what He's done for me.
I know that I'm a sinner. But I think that I've been trying to play it down. "No one is better than the other," they say. I have looked at this, and I have done the pride-thing. I have said to myself, "That means that everyone else is just as bad as me."
Last night I realized, that the real meaning is actually this. That means that I am just as bad as everyone else.
I am the worst of sinners. I have turned away from God. I have defied Him. I have denied Him. I have gone my own way instead of following Him. I've lived in hate. I've felt the ache of human nature. "We consumed Heaven's Son... I drew first blood." (from Revenge by Jon Foreman. give it a listen.)
I've broken God's heart. And that, in turn, breaks mine.
Instead of rejecting me, He sent Jesus to take my place. And he was rejected, and mocked, and bruised, and He was beaten and killed. And he went willingly, with me on his heart.
But his death is not the end of this story. He was greater than death and the grave could not hold him back. He is ALIVE, and he loves me.
We, the church, are his bride.
I never really understood that concept before, "We are the bride of Christ." Then I read the Circle series by Ted Dekker. It's changed the way I see God and my relationship with him. (I'm about to give a bit of a spoiler, so if you wanna read the books, which you should totally, proceed with caution! The spoiler won't devastate your experience with the book, though. But anyways. MOVING ON.) In that fantasy world there is Elyon, who's a parallel of God, and Justin, who's a parallel of Jesus.
In Red, Justin, who is also Elyon, is murdered. And he suffered the death of a common criminal. He was drowned and dead. But some of the faithful followers of Elyon (God) followed Justin into the lake. They took the drowning, the death of Justin (Jesus), on themselves.
And through it, they were given a new life, healed from their disease forever.
When he came to them, they wept, because they knew they had killed him. He told them, "No, no, you followed me! You ALL followed me." He kissed their hands.
And he laughed, and said, "Father, she is beautiful! My bride is beautiful! How I have waited for this day!"
I am learning that a relationship with God is about love. The first and greatest commandment is, "LOVE the Lord your God." When we set out to serve Him, it needs to be because we love Him. It's like the Great Romance... God LOVES you, and He's calling you to be His.
Even though I broke His heart, He's whispering to me... "Come back, my love, my love, come back."
Love is the most important thing. Every thing you do for God needs to stem out of love. When you serve Him and obey Him, it needs to be out of love.
God is love, and He loves me so much. God is love, and He loves you so much.
That's why Jesus died.
Happy Easter, friends. xox
"Let my foolish pride forever let me down."
-The Beautiful Letdown, Switchfoot