Sometimes Jesus turns up in the most amazing ways and places. This morning I was trying desperately to have some time beholding the Lord in quietness. With 3 little dogs vying for attention and racing around incessantly for me to take them for a walk, it was near impossible. I started off sitting in the sun outside, that was no good. So I went into my office and that wasn’t much better. Finally I had to lock them out which only led to them barking in frustration. Argghhh. But I persisted as much as I could… I really should get up earlier.
Anyway I sat down to start my reading of Proverbs and in only the first 3 chapters I received a number of new insights from the Lord. Most amazingly though, I was reminded of past sin.
However, I saw it in the light of the Lord’s saving grace and mercy. As a result I was filled with gratitude, humility and wonder. I had never experienced such a thing and pondered this for a time until I couldn’t stand the dogs barking any longer and finally took them for a walk.
On my walk, I found I was hurrying because I wanted to get back to spending time with God. The poor dogs, they were wanting to stop and sniff every blade of grass along the way and I started yelling ‘come on! hurry up!’. Paw things 🙂 When I realised what I was doing I decided to slow down, stand still and wait for them.
As I stood and waited I started to relax and a song began to rise in my heart. It was the chorus from the song Edelweiss from The Sound of Music but with different words put together by some other believers. They had changed the words of the chorus as follows and this is what I found myself singing;
Over and over I’ll spread the news
There’s no greater story
Once You came, bearing shame
Soon You’ll come in Your glory
I then began speaking with the Lord about what I’d ‘seen’ in Proverbs concerning my past sin.
“Lord, I know Your word says that You remember our sins no more, so I don’t really know what’s going on here right now but I feel as though it is You that is reminding me of my past sin. All I feel is joy and gratitude for seeing who I am without You so that I can now see what it is to be ‘in Christ’! You’ve shown me with new eyes, the joy of my salvation that comes from You. If it was the Devil reminding me of past sin wouldn’t I feel condemnation? I feel nothing but joy and I don’t feel any shame at all……because You put it on Your son“.
…Once You came, bearing shame…
Right then at that moment I looked up and realised I was standing in front of a power pole that has become an almost sacred spot for me on my walks. You see, all the other power poles are in a T-shape but this one bears the shape of a cross. Many times I have stood at the foot of this cross and imagined being physically present at the crucifixion of my Lord and wept. Amazingly, so that this pole can service two directions from the ‘cross-roads’ where it stands, additional beams bear the shape of a second horizontal cross on top. I had become oblivious to where I was standing until that moment that I was reflecting on Christ bearing my shame on the cross. I could hardly believe it, but then it seemed typical of my Lord to lead me this way.
As I have done many times before, I stood at the foot of that pole/cross and as I looked up I imagined Jesus there. I thought to myself Here I am today, standing at the foot of the cross in complete righteousness and cleanliness because Jesus was on the cross bearing my shame. There He was, my perfect atonement. He took my shame and now He is my glory and the lifter of my head.
The same is true of you my friend. The Lord Jesus has already borne your shame. If you are in Christ, you needn’t look back on past sin with any burden because Christ has made you shameless and blameless. Let any reflection on your wayward past only bring you joy and praise to the Lord to see what it is He has saved you from, to see who you are now in Christ, to see the value of what He has done.
21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven… (Colossians 1:21-13)